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Ken Brown

Norwich Career: 1973-1987 (Management Team)
Current Club: England (scout)
Date of Birth:  
Nationality: English


Ken Brown has spent almost fifty years in professional football and never really got the acclaim he deserved. His 16 year spell at West Ham United coincided with the Hammers' most successful spell ever whilst at Norwich, he led the Canaries to Milk Cup glory and the Division Two title.

Spotted as a schoolboy in his native Dagenham, he joined West Ham playing for the B team before turning professional at the age of 17. He made his debut aged 17 at Rotherham in 1952 when Dick Walker and Malcolm Allison were injured. After a spell in National Service, he returned to Upton Park and by 1957 was a regular in the first team. In his first full season, they won the Second Division title. Impressing in Division One, he received his only England cap in 1960 when Walter Winterbottom selected him for the clash against Northern Ireland (won 2-1). Ron Greenwood's appointment as Hammers boss in 1961 heralded the start of the glory days at West Ham with the side winning the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup-winners Cup the following year. Brown played alongside the likes of Bobby Moore and Johnny Byrne.

In 1967, he made his 386th and final appearance for the Hammers when he followed his buddy John Bond to Torquay before joining Hereford of the Southern League where he ended his playing career. He teamed up with Bond again at Bournemouth in 1970 where Brown was Assistant Manager. Three years later, the duo moved to Norwich and had a successful seven year partnership with the Canaries in the top flight for all bar one of those years. In 1980, Bond left to manage Manchester City and Ken Brown was chosen as his replacement to manage the Canaries. His deputy was Mel Machin.

In a seven year spell as Norwich boss, Brown won the 1985 Milk Cup final and the Second Division title the following year. His impact on Norwich's future can be seen by his signings (Martin O'Neill, Dave Watson, Steve Bruce, Chris Woods, Keith Bertschin, John Deehan, Mike Channon, Aage Hareide etc). Youth team graduates such as Robert Rosario, Jeremy Goss, Louie Donowa and Dale Gordon all made their debuts under Brown's stewardship, many of whom played in the 1983 FA Youth Cup winning side.

In 1987, a disagreement with chairman Robert Chase and a poor start to the season saw Brown's departure from Carrow Road, to be replaced by Dave Stringer. Despite interest from Shrewsbury Town, Brown took a rest from football before joining Plymouth as manager in 1988. One of his signings there was son Kenny who had made his Norwich debut under his father's watchful eye. Fired by the Pilgrims in 1990 and losing his wife, he stepped away from football until Terry Venables appointed him as an England scout in 1994, a position which he still holds today alongside his investment in Lakenham Leisure Centre. He went to the World Cup in Japan/Korea to scout for Sven Goran Eriksson's England and lost almost a stone in weight in the Asian heat
[Some information taken from the August 2000 edition of Hammers News magazine]

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