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Football legend Sailor Brown dies

PUBLISHED: 13:16 29 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:38 03 July 2010

GORLESTON footballing legend, Bert "Sailor" Brown has died at the age of 93.

He passed away on December 27 at the Meadowlark Care Home in Forres, Scotland.

GORLESTON footballing legend, Bert “Sailor” Brown has died at the age of 93.

He passed away on December 27 at the Meadowlark Care Home in Forres, Scotland.

On leaving school, Bert worked for Johnson and Sons as an apprentice sewing machine mechanic and played for their Borough League side. He joined Gorleston Juniors in 1931 and, by 1932, was playing outside right for the Senior Greens.

Norwich City showed an interest and Nottingham Forest offered a trial but, after little more than a season with Gorleston he joined Charlton Athletic in 1933-34.

He won his first England cap in 1939 in South Africa and played for England alongside the likes of Stanley Matthews, Tommy Lawton and Stan Mortenson. He played in four successive Wembley Finals before transferring to Nottingham Forest and then Aston Villa.

Bert suffered a broken jaw playing for Villa against Portsmouth in 1948-49 and was invited to return to Gorleston as player/coach.

In the space of five years, Gorleston won the Senior Cup twice and became the first Norfolk side to win the Eastern Counties league ahead of A-teams from clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. And the Greens became national news as a result of their historic battle against Leyton Orient in the first round of the 1951 FA Cup.

Sailor's daughter Julie said of her dad: “It was sudden in that, up to now, he had been really fit. What a character - what a footballer and best of all, what a dad. He will be sadly missed but hopefully never forgotten as a Gorleston Legend.”

His funeral is on Monday, January 5.

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