Now the, effectively, Aberdeen veteran midfielder is focused on receiving brickbats from a support that have been showering him with bouquets as his 14-year, 22-honour career has drawn to a close. The devilment of Brown was to the fore even as he conducted his post-match duties following the tedious 0-0 draw that marked his final game for the club he joined from Hibs in 2007.
It was evident also in the barb directed towards Rangers, centring around the ‘invincibles’ tag accorded them for their unbeaten title winning campaign of this season and how this failed to equate to the treble that Celtic earned without a domestic loss in Brendan Rodgers’ first season in 2016-17. Even after the disintegration of Celtic’s 10-in-a-row bid, to the end, Brown stayed true to his mischief-making character...not least when he pondered his inability to say farewells to Celtic fans because of the covid-restrictions that have meant the season being played behind closed doors.
"I'll miss playing in front of 60,000 and not getting the chance to wave goodbye,” Brown said. “They have been a huge part of my life over the last 14 years and they've been fantastic with me on and off the field. It's just sad that I can't say goodbye but I will be back with Aberdeen next season. I will maybe wave at them or I will get booed off the park. But I wouldn't want it any other way because when I come back I want to be a winner and take Aberdeen as far as I can. I have done that at Celtic and have so many fantastic memories from different players and managers. It's been one high after the other and now it's a new chapter for me at a new club.
“Celtic is a great club and I know it will bounce back. We have had a disappointing season but you need to look at the 13 before that. You do have to think about this season too. But I would rather be in my situation than anyone else's. We have gone proper invincible throughout the entire season. We have gone treble after treble after treble after treble – and that's not easy. It does take its toll on everyone's body and that is what happened this year. We gave it everything we could but we just couldn't get the 10.”
Brown revealed that the nosedive in the club’s fortunes was not related to his decision to cut his ties with a club that he has lived and breathed for almost a decade-and-a-half.
“My mind was made up at the start of the season,” Brown said. "For me, I wanted a new challenge, and I knew it was either go and do ten or finish on nine with a quadruple treble. I wanted to give it one last go and see it as far as I possibly could, and the board and everyone upstairs have been fantastic with myself. They offered me a new deal to stay and be part of it, but I wanted to see how it worked with a different club.”