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Saltaire people: This month ALBERT BROWN

Recent contact with David and Jean Brown of Burton-in-Lonsdale brought me a profile of David's father, who many readers may remember: Albert Brown who was in charge of the Wages Dept. at the Mill for many years, having started out, aged twelve, as a 'half timer' when his father Jimmy, a cloth finisher, brought the family to live on Albert Terrace. But it was his ability in organising local amateur sport which gave Albert most fame. Be it football, cricket, tennis or golf, he always had an enthusiastic hand in it.

In 1923 he helped to establish Salts AFC and could be seen each week on the touchline, working harder than some of the players. In 1933, he helped to revive the Roberts Park Tennis Club after it had gone out of existence. In all three sports he was a keen Committee member, assuming chairman, secretary and treasurer’s roles many times. In the little spare time he had left, he wrote a regular sports column for the Guardian. He also performed reasonably well in most sports. He had a golf handicap of 24, won the men's singles tennis tournament three times at Salts, and as wicket keeper for their cricket team had an average of two victims per game. Albert died in 1985 after seventy-nine very full, active years of service to local sport.

[One of the few mentions which poor Albert received on the football field came under another name: When Salts for some reason fielded a scratch team against Manningham Mills in a match at Scotchman Road, he went in goal in place of Steve (Mick) McKenzie. A newspaper report said that Manningham were leading 9-0 at half-time, (they went on to win 17-1) "a score which would certainly have been greater but for the brilliant goalkeeping of McKenzie"! ]

Roger Clarke



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