Tributes paid to former Scotland boss Brown at special memorial service

Ex-players, managers, and colleagues gathered to remember the popular national team manager whose popularity 'crossed all divides'.

Tributes have been paid to the former Scotland manager Craig Brown at a memorial service honouring his life.

The great and good of Scottish football including ex-players, managers and colleagues gathered to remember Brown at a special ceremony in Ayr hours after he was laid to rest surrounded by family members.

The former school teacher – who also managed the likes of Aberdeen and Motherwell – died in hospital last month aged 82 following a short illness.

During the course of his career, he took Scotland to a World Cup and a European Championship finals and was involved in a coaching capacity in three other major tournaments.

Some of the biggest names in Scottish football gathered to remember Brown.STV News

Former Celtic defender Tom Boyd, who played under Brown at the 1996 Euros and 1998 World Cup, remembered a “quiet leader” who gave “a hell of a lot” to the national sport.

“It has taken us a long while to get back to where Craig got us all those years ago,” he said.

“We’ve got so much to be thankful to him for. He gave us everything during his career, whether that was as a player or as a manager.

“Among myself and a lot of the ex-players, he was well respected in the footballing community.”

Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish said Brown's popularity 'crossed all divides'.STV News

Brown’s playing career was largely undermined by a knee injury which forced him into retirement at the age of 27 but he began his professional spell at Rangers and won a league winners’ medal with Dundee in 1962 – later reaching the European Cup semi-finals with the Dens Park outfit.

His coaching career hit new levels after his stint at Mexico 86, when he was appointed assistant to new Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh, who he would succeed in 1993.

He is the last man to take Scotland to a World Cup finals, leading the team out for the opening match of the 1998 tournament in France, where Scotland lost 2-1 to a star-studded Brazil side in Paris.

Boyd played under Brown at two international tournaments.STV News

Brown went on to manage Preston, Motherwell and Aberdeen, where he became a director in 2013 after his management career ended.

Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish added: “He was amazing, across all divides I think everybody loved him,” he told STV News.

“It is incredible just how popular he was.”

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