Debut: vs Halifax (H) 22nd April 1950
Honours: Yorkshire Cup (1958), Yorkshire League (1950, 1954, 1956)
Stand off Gordon Brown was at Headingley for ten seasons, making 253 appearances.
A product of local schools rugby and a post-War junior international, he made his debut at centre in the final game of the 1949-50 season, a 10-7 home win over Halifax. He posted his first try at Keighley at the start of the following campaign but it was against Leigh in October 1953, in a narrow home defeat, that he first wore the number six shirt, scoring a try and indicating that was his natural position.
His form over the following year was such that when a seemingly depleted GB squad was picked for the World Cup, owing to most of those who had toured with the recently returning Lions withdrawing, he was included. He scored two tries in a first-up win over the Aussies in Lyon, one national newspaper headlining the exploits, ‘Salute the new Britain – Forty years later the spirit of Rorke’s Drift can still confound the Aussies’ – and crossed again in a 13-all draw with France in front of a record crowd for the sport across the Channel of almost 38,000 in Toulouse. He was again on the mark as New Zealand were beaten in Bordeaux, leaving GB and the hosts on level points in the table.
A hastily arranged final was staged at the Parc des Princes, Paris, an astonishing 30,000 turning up to watch Brown mesmerise Puig Aubert’s men. His two touchdowns took him to six in the tournament as Dave Valentine’s men won 16-12 and he was carried shoulder high by his team mates on the final whistle. He gained two more Test caps, against the touring Kiwis in 1955, scoring a try in defeat in the Third Test at Headingley, but a severe knee injury plagued him from thereon in, causing him to miss most of the 1956-7 campaign and a trip to Wembley.
In all he posted 94 tries for Leeds, leaving for Keighley in 1960, a year before the Loiners claimed the Championship.