Gordon BROWN

Gordon Brown - Scotland - International  Rugby Union Caps for Scotland.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 November 1972

Click on image to enlarge

      Saturday, 01 November 1947
      Troon, Scotland. Died 19th. March 2001 Aged 53.
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Gordon BROWN - Scotland - International Rugby Union Caps for Scotland.

Scottish rugby player Gordon Brown is pictured above

playing for the Barbarians.

Career Record Played 30, Won 14, Lost 16 Test Points: 0.


1969 v South Africa (Murrayfield) W 6-3


1970 v France (Murrayfield) L 11-9 (FN)
1970 v Wales (R) (Cardiff) L 18-9 (FN)
1970 v Ireland (Dublin) L 16-11 (FN)
1970 v England (Murrayfield) W 14-5 (FN)

1970 v Australia (Sydney) L 23-3


1971 v France (Paris) L 13-8 (FN)
1971 v Wales (Murrayfield) L 19-18 (FN)
1971 v Ireland (Murrayfield) L 17-5 (FN)
1971 v England (Twickenham) W 16-15 (FN)
1971 v England (Murrayfield) W 26-6

(Centenary game)


1972 v France (Murrayfield) W 20-9 (FN)
1972 v Wales (Cardiff) L 35-12 (FN)
1972 v England (Murrayfield) W 23-9 (FN)
1972 v New Zealand (Murrayfield) L 14-9
1973 v England (R) (Twickenham) L 20-13 (FN)
1973 v Presidents XV (Murrayfield) W 27-16
1974 v Wales (Cardiff) L 6-0 (FN)

1974 v Wales (Cardiff) L 6-0 (FN)

1974 v England (Murrayfield) W 16-14 (FN)

1974 v Ireland (Dublin) L 9-6 (FN)

1974 v France (Murrayfield) W 19-6 (FN)


1975 v Ireland (Murrayfield) W 20-13 (FN)
1975 v France (Paris) L 10-9 (FN)
1975 v Wales (Murrayfield) W 12-10 (FN)
1975 v England (Twickenham) L 7-6 (FN)

1975 v Australia (Murrayfield) W10-3


1976 v France Murrayfield) L 13-6 (FN)
1976 v Wales (Cardiff) L 28-6 (FN)
1976 v England (Murrayfield) W 22-12 (FN)
1976 v Ireland (Dublin) W 15-6 (FN)


















Known as 'Broon from Troon' or the 'baby-faced assassin', off the pitch Gordon Brown was the nicest guy you could wish to meet. But on it, particularly in a Lions shirt, he was one of the world's most ruthless competitors. Gordon was from a sporting family, elder brother Peter was an international colleague who won 27 caps and led Scotland 10 times, and father Jock was an international goalkeeper who also appeared in the Scottish Open at Troon, others in the field including that golfing great Arnold Palmer. Gordon himself was a fine athlete for such a big man, standing 6'-5" and weighing in at around 17 stones at his peak. He shoved his weight in the scrum and was a marvellous lineout foil for the gifted Alastair McHarg. A product of Marr College and West of Scotland he emerged on to the international stage in late 1969, having just turned 22, and made a winning debut at Murrayfield against South Africa.


He retained his place for the Five Nations opener against France but was dropped for the Wales match, being replaced by brother Peter who had taken great delight in phoning Gordon to tell him he had been dropped! However, Gordon had the last laugh as Peter was injured in the match and was replaced at half-time by his younger brother - the first instance of a brother replacing a brother in an international. Gordon went on to cement his place in Scotland's formidable front five of the early Seventies which was dubbed the 'Mean Machine'. The original 'Mean Machine' comprised Ian McLauchlan, Frank Laidlaw, Sandy Carmichael, Alastair McHarg and Gordon and this unit formed the core of the side which turned Murrayfield into something of a fortress. From 1971-1976 Scotland lost just once at home and that one loss was a narrow 14-9 defeat to the All Blacks in 1972. (Nick Oswald)



Although impressing for Scotland it was on the Lions tours of 1971, 1974 and 1977 that Gordon truly flourished as the regular training and playing enabled him to reach peak fitness. On his first tour he put so much pressure on first choice lock Delme Thomas that he forced his way into the test side for the 3rd and 4th tests and thus played a crucial role in helping the Lions to their first test series win in New Zealand. Three years later, following a frustrating run of injuries, he hit his peak and enjoyed a magnificent tour in harness with skipper Willie-John McBride. He rampaged round South Africa, playing in 12 matches, including the first three tests and scored a record eight tries. Unfortunately, he broke his thumb in the third test but by then the series had been won and despite having his right hand in a plaster cast he fulfilled a long held ambition by playing golf with the legendary Gary Player who had just won the British Open for a third time.


Gordon played two more seasons for Scotland but in late 1976 with a third Lions tour looming he was the victim of an unprovoked stamping to his head. Uncharacteristically, he retaliated very aggressively under the noses of the SRU top brass and in front of the 'Rugby Special' cameras. Duly sent off, he received a harsh 12-week ban and missed the entire Five Nations championship. He was never to pull on the Scotland jersey again, his final cap coming in a 15-6 victory against Ireland in Dublin on 20th March '76. In total Gordon played 30 times for Scotland, finishing on the winning side on 14 occasions, and boasted the impressive record of 6 wins from 8 games against the men in white from south of the border. The Lions selectors remained loyal to him, however, and picked Gordon for the tour to New Zealand. After recovering from a shoulder injury he played in the remaining three tests but despite being an influential member of a dominant pack the Lions lost the series 3-1. Gordon was a great and much loved character with an infectious sense of humour and love for life and he became a very popular speaker on the after dinner circuit.


Sadly, though, he lost his life to cancer at the tragically early age of 53 on 19th March 2001. (Nick Oswald)