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Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:44 pm
by Spireite historian
My main interest is in Tommy, since he played for Chesterfield Town. His date of birth has remained elusive so, In order to help find it, I've been looking for them as a pair. Find young Sandy, and young Tommy won't be far behind.

Conventional wisdom has them born in Beith; Sandy on 7.4.1879 and Tommy in 1881. I can find Sandy's Beith birth on Scotland's People and I see him in the 1881 and 1891 censuses, but I can find nothing for Tommy's birth to the same parents, or in the same location. Sandy is there as a 10-year old in 1891, but Tommy isn't. Sandy is still there aged 20 in 1901, and that makes me a tad suspicious, since that's a fairly hefty commute to Tottenham!

What I have found is a Brown family in Muirkirk in 1881, with siblings Alexander and Thomas aged 3 and 1, respectively, both born there. They are still there in 1891, but both have left home by 1901.

Given the Glenbuck playing connection of both players, and given that Beith is a right old hike from Glenbuck on a (late Victorian) map - an 80-mile round trip, I wonder if the Muirkirk brown brothers are a better bet for the footballers?

Does anyone know how the Beith birthplace came to be accepted? Would there be a decent contemporary pen picture for Sandy that specifies the Beith birth?



Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:10 am
by John Meffen
My main interest is avoiding an early death, but I don't post it here,

whatever happened to etiquette?

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:27 am
by Scottish
Problem is such a common name. Are you mentioning Tottenham because the player was with them in 1901? One possible answer is that he was there on the day of the census. Original practice was to record who was in the house on day/evening in question, not who usually resided there. I don't know when this changed.

As you say though, Glenbuck was almost next door to Muirkirk so might be a better bet.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:42 am
by John Meffen
As all well read people know Emily Wilding Davison [my goddess] was in a cupboard in the House of Commons on the night of the 1911 census, in order to make a statement, that is how much we should trust censuses ... nts-crypt/

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:58 am
by bluedragon
It may not help much but according to The Cherrypickers – Glenbuck nursery of footballers by Rev. M H Faulds and Wm. Tweedie (1951) There were three “Browns” that went from Glenbuck Cherrypickers into Scottish/English League football.

ALEC BROWN (Towey), Preston North End, Tottenham Hotspur.
TOMMY BROWN (Bogey), Leicester Fosse, Dundee, Chesterfield, Portsmouth.
TOMMY BROWN, Blackburn Rovers.

A John Brown played for the club but was not a player that progressed to league football. However, it says that his son, another Tommy Brown, “has played football for several well-known Clubs—Heart of Midlothian, Millwall, Leyton Orient, and Charlton Athletic. He was not a Cherrypicker - he was too young for that. His father, John Brown, however, was a Cherrypicker, and the tradition lives on in the son. In addition to being capped three times Schoolboy International, Tommy Brown was capped twice for Scotland—in 1940 against England”.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:17 am
by ScottishFA
I've been working on Sandy Brown for a while, and although I haven't finished the research it is clear the April 1879 birth date is wrong, and not just because he would be too young.

The main clue is Sandy Brown's marriage in Tottenham on 15 October 1901 to Winifred Gilboy; his age is given as 23, and his father is William Brown, a miner. However, the Alexander Brown born in April 1879 had a father called Hugh, so it can't be him. He is also in the 1901 census in London, age 23, professional footballer, but birthplace is just given as Scotland. So that points to a birth in late 1877 or early 1878.

I agree with Spireite's suggestion that the one family that seems to fit, with brothers Alex and Tommy, lived in Muirkirk in the 1881 and 1891 censuses (just along the road from Glenbuck), with father William, a miner, and mother Margaret Whyte. That Thomas was born 6 August 1879 in Muirkirk but I couldn't find a birth registration for Alexander last time I was in Register House.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:13 pm
by leicester
Here's what I have on Tommy Brown; updated since last publication with the now-agreed birth details and the final two sentences culled from recent BNA research:

Brown, Thomas
b. Muirkirk, Ayrshire, 6th August 1879
Career: Glenbuck Cherrypickers; Aug 1899 FOSSE; Dec 1901 Chesterfield Town; cs 1902 Lanark FC; Nov 1902 FOSSE; cs 1903 Portsmouth; Sept 1904 Dundee.
Fosse debut v Woolwich Arsenal (A) 2.9.1899 (scored once)
Fosse’s top scorer for three seasons running, despite the break of almost a year in his service, bustling centre-forward Tommy had his career somewhat overshadowed by that of his brother, Scottish international Sandy (whose clubs included Preston, Portsmouth, Spurs, Middlesbrough and Luton). His first departure from Filbert Street followed an internal suspension for breaches of training discipline, and involved a deal with Chesterfield (against whom he’d already notched a hat-trick, and for whom he scored at a rate of a goal-per-game) for a deferred payment which, in the following summer, they then couldn't afford. His second leave-taking saw him briefly replace his brother at Fratton Park. Tommy had apparently been nicknamed ‘Bogey’ while with Glenbuck; and he lodged along with Walter Robinson in Hazel Street during his first Leicester spell. He was sacked by Dundee in January 1906, having returned from the close season unfit, and being subsequently unable to shift much of his 13-stone-plus weight despite an imposed regimen of Turkish baths. An appeal to the Scottish FA fell on deaf ears, and there is no sign of his threatened legal action actually proceeding.
Apps: FL 72; FAC 5. Goals: FL 38; FAC 3.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:17 pm
by soccerhistory
The Ayr Advertiser for 30 March 1944 reported the death of Sandy Brown (ex Glenbuck Athletic, Tottenham, Preston, Portsmouth, etc) at the home of his brother in Granity, New Zealand. Report states he played for Glenbuck Athletic as a 16-year-old and that he emigrated to New Zealand 22 years ago (ie around 1922).

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:55 am
by leicester
Alex Brown / 44 / miner / Birkclough (?) Cottage, Glenbuck / sailed from Southampton to Wellington NZ on board the Tainui in September 1922.

Did the Ayr obit mention which brother he was staying with in NZ???

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:19 am
by ScottishFA
That note from the Ayr Advertiser is a great find. From that I've found his death on the New Zealand records site, with a precise date of 6 March 1944.

His name at death is given as Alexander White Brown, age 67, which is final confirmation that the birth details are correct, as his mother's surname was White (or sometimes given as Whyte). All I need now is to find that birth certificate!

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:41 pm
by leicester
Again, nothing definitive to add to this perplexing thread, beyond ANOTHER note of caution/confusion:

There's an Alexander White Brown born in Glenbuck, Muirkirk, on 28th [September ???; illegible] 1877, but not registered until 24th November 1877, to John (miner) and Agnes [nee White].

Right place, right time, 'wrong' parents... But is there reason to be remotely suspicious of mis-registration / misrepresentation [for whatever obscure reason], especially because of the belated notification???? It'll take some delving into intertwined and extended Brown/White families for a bit more clarity...

Meanwhile, back to Tommy: Could I repeat my enquiry to Soccer History (or anyone else with access to the Ayr newspaper reference) as to which brother Sandy was staying with in NZ at the time of his death???



Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:28 pm
by ScottishFA
I've finally managed to work this one out. I feel like I'm raking the murky past of Glenbuck, but Sandy was illegitimate - so that's why he doesn't come up in searches.

He was born to Margaret White, domestic servant, at Glenbuck on 21 December 1877. Then on 21 June 1878 William Brown, labourer, married Margaret White in Glenbuck. And the following year, on 6 August 1879, Thomas Brown was born at New Rows, Glenbuck, to the happy couple.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:22 pm
by Scottish
There were a lot of 'early' births in those days in order to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy.

Re: Sandy & Tommy Brown, Glenbuck Cherrypickers

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:37 am
by ScottishFA
To mark the centenary of the birth of Glenbuck's greatest export, here's a little summary of Sandy Brown's life and achievements: ... alist.html