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Tong explains Yarmouth's tournament absence

PUBLISHED: 16:39 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 03 July 2010

THE daughter of football legend Sailor Brown has criticised Yarmouth Town for pulling out of a tournament in his memory.

The Bloaters had been lined up to take part in the Sailor Brown Memorial Trophy at Gorleston Football club next Saturday.

THE daughter of football legend Sailor Brown has criticised Yarmouth Town for pulling out of a tournament in his memory.

The Bloaters had been lined up to take part in the Sailor Brown Memorial Trophy at Gorleston Football club next Saturday.

Instead, the first team will now be heading for Kent for a pre-season friendly with Ramsgate Town.

Gorleston, Lowestoft Town, Kirkley and Blofield United are taking part in the tournament, with Yarmouth replaced by a second Gorleston team.

The Bloaters' decision has angered Julie Munro, who is heading down from her Inverness home for the tribute to her father.

She said: “Many times dad played in and organised charity matches with the TV All Stars and former England Players which benefited many people in Yarmouth which now sadly seems to have been forgotten.

“I am travelling from Inverness, a round trip of over 1,000 miles, to support this event and present the trophy only now to hear that Yarmouth has chosen not to play.

“If teams like Aston Villa can hold a tribute to dad, Charlton Athletic can wear black armbands and send a representative for this match and Gorleston, who have been so kind during the past months, can hold this match what can Yarmouth do?

“I really feel so sad that in this day and age other things seem more important than honouring one of your own great legends.”

Yarmouth manager Paul Tong defended the club's decision to withdraw from the competition.

He said: “We have got a game at Ramsgate, but obviously I am disappointed not to fulfil this commitment. However, as manager I have to do what is best for Great Yarmouth Football Club.

“We would not have wanted to have devalued the occasion by sending a second string team.

“We respect what Sailor Brown achieved and hope the tournament is a great success.”

In an illustrious career Yarmouth born Mr Brown played for Charlton, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.

He was given the nickname Sailor after being likened to Popeye, because of his muscular nautical gait.

Returning to his home town in 1949 he enjoyed a successful spell as Gorleston player manager in the 1950s.

Mr Brown died, aged 93, last December and a memorial service was held in Gorleston earlier this year.

Entrance to the Sailor Brown Memorial Trophy day costs £2 for adults and £1 for OAPS and youngsters aged 12 to 16.

Children under 12 can enter for free if they are accompanied by an adult.

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