A private tribute from Craig Brown’s former member – and lovely good friend – Pat Nevin

After my own father, Craig Brown was probably the most influential and necessary shaper in my life.

Without him, I would not have become an experienced football player. It’s actually that simple.

I performed for Gartcosh United in contrast to what we thought of as Clyde Reserves in 1981. It came into the market and it’s really been some of their first team players and I didn’t think that until later.

I got a goal and performed well that day and at the residence Craig cornered me and asked me to come back and play for Clyde.

I said, “No, I don’t care, I’m learning.”

Without Craig Brown, I would not have become an accomplished football player

I used to be one of his players, but bigger than that, we became partners

I made the decision to move to Chelsea, but there was absolutely no irritation or anger

He said: “Come and do both. And we’ll pay you £30 every week.

When he suggested it to me, it was a case of, “Where do I sign?” He understood that there was an approach to the whole scenario because he was a coach and had an academic background that different managers might not have.

I had a great two years with Clyde and when I left he wanted me to move to Dundee United. I made the decision to transfer a bit to Chelsea, but there was absolutely no irritation or anger.

From that first day, Craig and I became friends. I used to be one of his players, but bigger than that, we’ve been collaborators.

The only time he aggravated me was when he put me in the wing a couple of times when I didn’t want to play there. Maybe in hindsight he knew what he was doing. Anyway, he changed my sport.

Tactically, he was observant and fashionable in his thinking. He was great with individuals and was recognized as a wonderful coach. The reality is that it was by no means just Craig for me. It was Craig and Andy all along.

Craig and Andy Roxburgh formed a duo. They have been unfairly condemned for the “Largs Mafia” chat, however, working below the various leaders in the South, individuals should accept my phrase. Compared to some, they have been bigger than good.

Craig and Andy have been like a couple that worked great together.

The biggest comparison I could make is Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Maybe not depending on the respective personalities, but they would be related to the work dynamics. My favorite factor about them was their ability to make the Scottish group a cohesive group again.

The only time Brown aggravated me was when he jabbed me in the groin a couple of times!

Craig and Andy have been like a couple that worked great together

There have been times when it seemed like there were two or three completely different teams. They have worked so hard to cultivate spirit and togetherness.

Craig would work very hard on it. And if your character wasn’t up to par then, no matter how good a member you were, you weren’t in the band. You weren’t even in the band.

They took a stick for it. But if you’re going to introduce a negative vibe or angle, there’s no way a great cast will be enough to beat it.

I loved it. And I really liked the way Craig did a lot of problem solving. Most leaders are more developed characters than people assume.

They should behave differently when entering cells than outside. I know Steve Clarke well and Clarke is a great digicam grinner. It is always the way in which. Craig was identical. He had a pleasant demeanor and a really sharp sense of humor.

His eyes lit up as he recommended the narrative to you. But in addition, there was always a strong character. He was good at making tough choices. But he did them all the time for the right reasons. Wasn’t a bull, he was straight and honest with you.

Craig didn’t actually take me to Euro 96 or France 98, but I can’t be mad at him in any way. I knew he was just trying to do the right factor.

Craig didn’t take me to Euro 96 or France 98, but I can’t be mad at him anyway.

His time in the first team here ended after a 2-0 defeat to Belgium in October 2001, which cost Scotland qualification for the World Cup. I keep in mind that everyone then shouts for him by the fire. Also, I keep in mind when I say, “Don’t.”

The group was close to qualifying. We played the Belgians at Hampden in March last 12 and drew 2-2. Scotland went 2-0 up and equalized in the last minute. In the end, we only missed the playoffs because of two factors.

The downside was that by then the nation had become too crooked to get there all the time. And that failure felt like letting go.

I keep thinking, “It’s really not that easy.” I have seen that he is doing nothing wrong and the historical past has supported this view. Craig walked earlier than was pushed. If it was the best choice for the nation – and other people have been adamant about it – then he felt he should go.

It should be noted that 25 years later he is still the last person to lead Scotland to the World Cup final.

This shows that his departure was not the good outcome that people seemed to assume at the time.

Craig and I worked with Radio 5 Live for a few years. We hosted World Cups and tournaments together and kept in touch. There was no break in it whatsoever.

The last time Craig contacted him he was trying to get help for a former member who had been in England for two months. He knew that as a former president of the players union I could get that help.

We’ve all known for a couple of weeks now that Craig is sick. The undeniable fact that we have been prepared for this does not make it easier for one of the most vital figures in my life.

As suggested by Stephen McGowan

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