Search

Memorial service for soccer legend

06:00 18 May 2009

Bert 'Sailor' Brown playing for Gorleston against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup

Bert 'Sailor' Brown playing for Gorleston against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup

While many of today's footballers often stand accused of being overpaid prima donnas, Norfolk's very own Bert 'Sailor' Brown was cut from a different cloth.

While many of today's footballers often stand accused of being overpaid prima donnas, Norfolk's very own Bert “Sailor” Brown was cut from a different cloth.

On two occasions in the 1930s, the hugely talented Gorleston player walked and hitchhiked his way to London and back for trials with Charlton Athletic.

His amazing efforts paid off and the inside forward enjoyed a successful career at club and international level - cut cruelly short by the Second World War and serious injury.

On Saturday, family, friends and former teammates gathered in Gorleston for a memorial service organised following Sailor's death, at the age of 93, in December.

Mick Heard, chairman of the Gorleston FC supporters' club, told the congregation at St Andrew's Church how he was just 10 when he first watched Sailor play in the 1950-51 season, during his second spell at the club.

“I was captivated…His passing and ball skills were out of this world. It is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Mr Heard.

Yarmouth-born Sailor moved to the north of Scotland to be near one of his daughters after his wife Daisy died a few years ago.

Sailor, who received his nickname after he was likened to Popeye because of his muscular, nautical gait, signed for Charlton in 1934 and scored 24 goals in 60 games. His last game was the FA Cup final defeat by Derby in 1946.

Sailor's career was interrupted by the war, where he served as a sergeant in the RAF, but he went on to play for Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa. He also made six appearances for England before a serious broken jaw ended his top flight career in 1949.

He returned for a successful period as Gorleston's player-manager before his retirement in 1956, after which he went on to run a sports shop and work as a bookmaker. He was also a timber merchant and acted as a scout for Aston Villa.

Two of Sailor's former Gorleston teammates, Albert Vears, 84, and Dave Ellis, 80, were among old friends to attend the service and a reception at Gorleston's Emerald Park ground. Also in attendance was Norfolk man Bryan Boggis, 68, who signed for Aston Villa thanks to a recommendation from Sailor.

Sailor and Daisy, whose ashes were interred in St Andrew's garden of remembrance on Friday, are survived by three children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Speaking after the service, Sailor's daughter Julie Munro, 57, said: “It has been even better than I anticipated. Dad would have been so pleased.”

t Gorleston FC has paid its own tribute to its ex-player by launching the Sailor Brown memorial cup to be played for by local sides.

0 comments

Other news

Yesterday, 17:30
Save Our Southwold Bike Ride October 2016

Cyclists are being sought to participate in a sponsored bike ride raising funds to save the former Southwold Hospital site for community use.

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Amanda Morling was dismissed from her care home job for disclosing information about abuse to Norfolk County Council, she has now won an employment tribunal following the case.

A carer has today spoken about her “dreadful” year-long battle for justice after she was sacked for whistleblowing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Firefighters were called earlier this morning to a gas cooker fire at The Anchor pub, Walberswick.

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Lowestoft Memory walk run by Alzheimer's society.

People are being encouraged to support a popular event that is helping to raise funds for research into dementia.

Most Read

Friday, September 23, 2016
A man has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing his car into a wall in Blundeston, near Lowestoft.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing his BMW car into a wall near Lowestoft this morning.

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016
Police investigating an armed robbery at a jewellers in Beccles have released CCTV images of a car officers would like to locate. Picture Suffolk Police

Police investigating an armed robbery at a jewellers in Beccles have released CCTV images of a car officers would like to locate.

Read more
Suffolk Police
Monday, December 7, 2009

Hayley Mace

Police in Lowestoft are to feature in a new television documentary which starts this week.

ITV's new three-part documentary Coastline Cops, which starts at 8pm on Tuesday, includes footage from Lowestoft as the team from Steadfast Television spent much of the summer filming with officers in the town and captured a number of events for the cameras, including the busy Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival days.

Read more
Friday, September 23, 2016
Zara Dyer. Picture: IAN BROWN

Zara Dyer is being taught to walk again after a road traffic collision in the Cayman Islands left her with six bleeds on the brain, a fractured neck, paralysis on the right side of her body, difficulty with her sight and with communicating and swallowing.

Read more
Carlton Colville
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Picture: Ian Burt

Police road checks carried out in Lowestoft today (September 21) saw three people arrested and others dealt with for offences including driving while using a mobile phone, driving with no insurance and driving while not wearing a seatbelt.

Read more
Lowestoft

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 15°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up