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Jim Brown's Scotland Cap Anniversary

1 June 2015

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Today marks the fortieth anniversary of a particularly special day in the playing career of Chesterfield club hero Jim Brown - the winning of his cap for the Scotland international side.

The match, a European qualifier against Romania in Bucharest, ended in a 1-1 draw and despite putting in a good performance against a strong side, the appearance turned out to be Brown's only cap for his country.

Young goalkeeper Brown had originally come to England and Chesterfield in 1972, but after impressing at Saltergate had transferred to Sheffield United in the top tier by the time he was called up to the national team.

"I had been in the under 23 squad for a year or 18 months," remembers Brown. "Then I got called up for the full international squad to play the home internationals to play Wales, Ireland and England - I was in the squad for four or five matches before the Romania game.

"I was on the bench for all the games and the last game was against England at Wembley, and it didn't go too well for Stewart Kennedy who was the Rangers goalkeeper at the time. He actually played really well in the rest of the tournament, but we lost 5-1 to England that day.

"During the game he injured his ankle and I warmed up thinking I might have to go on - and he hadn't recovered when the next game came around."

Over in Romania, Brown was beaten by a header from future European Golden Boot winner Dudu Georgescu in the first half, but a late Gordon McQueen leveller ensured that the points were shared in Bucharest.

Brown - aged just 23-years-old at the time - remembers the occasion well, the nerves he felt and how he managed to cope in such an electric environment.


"There were 80,000 at the game and it was sweltering hot," he said. "Lining up for the national anthem was absolutely brilliant, I knew my mum and dad were back home watching it.

"To play football in Scotland you either wanted to play for Rangers or Celtic and then you wanted to play for Scotland - and I was like every other kid, but never thought it would happen. 

"It's just another game once it gets going, even in a hostile environment like that, but to pull the jersey on before the game, it has the hairs standing up on the back of your neck and was quite frightening to be honest.

"Then the game starts and you're back doing what you know you can do well and after that it was good and I enjoyed it."

Though Brown went on to have a long and fruitful playing career both over the Atlantic in the US and back at Chesterfield, where since retirement from playing he has held the role of commercial manager for 30 years, he still rates his night in Bucharest as the highlight of his playing career.

"It was the top moment, you can't go any higher really. I would have liked to have played a lot more but circumstances and managerial changes at Sheffield United changed things for me.

"But to actually have played for Scotland is something that can't be taken away from me. I've still got my jersey and I've got my cap and for something like that to happen to me was just fantastic."

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