Craig Brown: What former players, colleagues and friends said about one of Scottish football's greatest icons

Former Scotland boss Craig Brown’s death aged 82 following a short illness has led to a flood of tributes from around Scottish football and beyond. The ex-Aberdeen and Motherwell manager was the last man to lead the national team to a World Cup and he holds the record for the number of international matches managed by a Scotland coach.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke: “Craig led the way in bringing sustained qualification to the men’s national team, first as assistant to Andy Roxburgh and then in his own right. He was a student of the game and I am proud to say that I followed in his footsteps by taking a Scotland team back to a major tournament. The thoughts of the players and my backroom staff go to Craig’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Scottish FA president Mike Mulraney: “Words cannot do justice to the impact Craig Brown has had on Scottish football and on behalf of the Scottish FA, and his friends and former colleagues at Hampden Park, I send our deepest condolences to his family.

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“He was meticulous in his coaching preparation and passionate in his support of Scottish football. The greatest tribute that can be paid to his professional capabilities is the respect in which he was held by his peers, who also happened to be our all-time great coaches: among them Jock Stein, Sir Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith, Jim McLean and Andy Roxburgh. Craig deserves his place in the pantheon of great coaches. He will be missed – but never forgotten – by those who had the pleasure of his company, or by the fans and players who shared in his successes as Scotland manager.”

Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry: “Was a few weeks since I last spoke to you “Faither”….was an absolute honour to have been part of your teams Craig. Undoubtedly the biggest influence on my career. May you rest in peace. An outstanding man and human being x”

SFWA president Chick Young: “Sometimes wee men stand huge in our game. Bantamweight Broon cast a massive shadow. We’ve all lost a friend. He had passion for football and an understanding of its intricacies and a sense of man management that always meant he was officer material. And an impish sense of humour. Modest too. But you didn’t mess him around. Not at your peril. A thousand memories. I travelled the world with him…and trust me, he charmed nations oceans away.”

Former Scotland star Don Hutchison: “Devastated to hear the news about my Scotland gaffa Craig Brown’s passing. The nicest and most positive guy I’ve ever met. His door was always open. He always had a cheeky smile about him. Sleep well boss.”

Keith Lasley who played under Brown at Motherwell: “So sad. Was the inspiration behind the most enjoyable period of my playing career. A great man. Condolences to the family.”

Sky Sports commentator Ian Crocker: “Echoing the many tributes to this fine gent. Gonna miss the man and the stories. Used to hand over scouting reports on Scotland’s opponents to aid my prep. After one defeat he said “I knew I should’ve bloody read it before giving it to you.” Thoughts with family and friends.”

Former Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne: “Craig was a very special individual. He always had time for people and if there was any way in which he could help them inevitably he was there with an abundance of support and guidance. During our time working together Craig became a close friend. He always had a story or two to tell, and I often became the butt of some of these stories, but he always meant it in a friendly way, I think!”

First Minister Humza Yousaf: “A towering figure of the Scottish game, Craig Brown & the Scotland team he managed gave us many good memories over the years. You would be hard pressed to find a man who loved Scotland as passionately as he did. My thoughts with his family & friends at this sad time.”

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Rory Hamilton, Viaplay commentator: “A true great of Scottish football and a legend of a man. A deeply sad loss of someone who brought genuine happiness and positivity to anyone that was lucky enough to be in his presence. Thank you, Craig.”

Former St Johnston boss Callum Davidson, via the Scottish Sun: "Craig gave me debut for Scotland and as a manager he was fantastic for my career. As a person he was even better. He was a mentor and a friend. He gave me so much belief and confidence, he was wonderful that way.”

Aberdeen chief Alan Burrows who worked with Brown at Motherwell: “He also had an incredible knack of making you feel ten feet tall. He would always know the right thing to say or do to help you, to reassure you or to inspire you. Most who met him would agree that it would only take one conversation with him to feel as if you had been friends for years, such was his warmth. It’s little wonder he had such success with the Scotland National Team.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster: “Craig’s contribution to the game in this country was immense and spanned many decades. His achievements with the Scotland men’s national team – notably leading them to Euro 96 and France 98 – were simply outstanding. Craig was a gentleman and was wonderful, entertaining company. Generous with his time, he enjoyed a fantastic rapport with the supporters and will be sorely missed. My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”



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