Craig Brown admits emotion may get better of him

CRAIG Brown admits that for the first time in a 40-year managerial career his cool exterior is in danger of cracking as he prepares for an emotional farewell at Pittodrie tomorrow.

There are two more fixtures to be fulfilled before he finally retires, but the visit of Hearts will provide the chance for a final bow in front of Aberdeen’s home support. Someone who started out as an assistant at Motherwell in the early 1970s has had little room for sentimentality down the years.

Even major matches like the World Cup ’98 opener against Brazil and the European Championship play-off dramas with England failed to stir the emotions.

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However, he has already detected that approach is about to change with retirement from the game just over a week away after the visit to Tannadice. Derek McInnes has already been appointed as successor, but Brown has been given the two remaining matches before the split to round off his time in charge in a dignified manner.

Now the reality of the situation is finally beginning to sink in and, as a result, the 72-year-old manager is starting to experience certain feelings for the first time. Brown said: “I am not an emotional person at all. If anything, I wondered if there was something wrong with me I am so unemotional. But I started to write my final programme notes and I must admit I did come over all emotional.

“It dawned on me that this would be my last programme notes. So if I am getting that way over a programme piece then what am I going to be like at the game?

“Anyone will tell you, when we played Brazil in the World Cup there was no-one more relaxed than me. The pundits were talking about us getting humiliated or slaughtered in front of the entire world, but I was cool. I wasn’t emotional then. You do get more attached to a club and a team and I do have a sentimental attachment to Aberdeen.”