TRIBUTES have been paid to former Burnley boss and Manchester United scout Joe Brown.

Mr Brown, who played six times for the Clarets in the 1950s as a left-half, went on to manage the club from 1976 to 1977 before moving to Old Trafford, where he helped convince Ryan Giggs to sign for the Red Devils.

He died at Healey Lodge Nursing Home, in Manchester Road, yesterday morning after a long illness, aged 85.


After he retired from playing, Mr Brown rejoined Burnley in 1961 to coach the A team and managed a side including Dave Thomas, Steve Kindon and Mick Docherty to the FA Youth Cup in 1968.

He was appointed chief coach at Turf Moor in 1970 and then assistant to manager Jimmy Adamson three years later, eventually replacing him in January 1976.

Former Clarets player and boss Stan Ternant said: “Joe was a great guy, a fantastic coach and a respected ex-manager of the club. He was just a really nice fella and his death is a great loss for the club.”

Burnley legend Colin Waldron added: “First of all and I’m sure anyone else who worked with Joe will say the same: What a lovely guy. The strange thing is, football is not often a place for a lovely bloke like Joe.

"He was the number two at Burnley when I arrived. He was a great buffer between the manager and the players. Sometimes the manager could be harsh on you but Joe was there, especially for the young players in the changing room. You couldn’t say anything bad about Joe.

"He really came into his own when he left Burnley for Manchester United. To have that level of involvement with the Class of ’92 is a coaching miracle.”

Mr Brown, originally from Cramlington, Northumber-land, started his career at Middlesborough, and also played for Bournemouth and Aldershot.

Former Manchester United defender John O’Kane, who lives in Darwen and works as United’s East Lancashire scout, said: “I remember Joe when I just signed for United. He was a good man and scout, with a lovely manner and integrity.

“It’s funny thinking back now that I’m scouting as well. I didn’t envisage it and I hope I have half the success he had over the years. He served United with honesty and people respected him throughout the club.”

In a statement, Burnley FC said: “The club would like to offer its condolences to all the family and friends of Joe Brown at this sad time.

“The flag at Turf Moor will fly at half mast for a period in recognition of his service.”

Mr Brown’s wife, Constance, died last year, aged 84, while their son, Nigel, died in 2004, aged 48. He is survived by another son, Martin.

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