Special guest for Junior Presentation
By Gary Broughton
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2004
A local footballing legend has kindly agreed to present the trophies at the presentation night for the Nelson juniors this Friday night at Barrowford Civic Hall.
Brian enjoyed a distinguished career, playing for Burnley, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Bury and Wrexham, during which time he picked up 66 international caps for Wales.
In three spells over a 12 year period, Brian made 253 appearances for Burnley, scoring 27 goals from midfield. His first senior start in February 1974 at Arsenal was widely regarded as the best performance by any debutant in a Claret shirt.
His spell at Leeds, where he forged a great partnership with Tony Currie, saw him net 11 times in 177 appearances, and he deservedly won the accolade of Leeds' Player Of The Year in the 1978/9 season. He is also fondly remembered for netting a late winner at Old Trafford against deadly rivals Manchester United.
Internationally, Brian represented Wales at schoolboy, Under-23 and full international levels, where he captained the side on several occasions. As a teenager in the 1974/5 season he scored a sensational goal against Scotland which has since been around the world time and time again.
A year after signing-on for Wrexham, Brian took up the post of manager at the Racecourse Ground, where he stayed for a record 12 years until 2001. During his time there he led the Robins up into Division Two, and also masterminded superb F.A. Cup victories over top-flight opposition such as Ipswich Town, West Ham United and Middlesbrough.
The most famous win though was in 1992 when, propping up the entire Football League, his side entertained League Champions Arsenal and won. Micky Thomas scored with his now infamous late free-kick to secure a sensational 2-1 come-from-behind victory.
More recently he was brought in by Swansea as manager in September 2002 to save them from relegation into the Conference. With the team bottom of the league and plenty of the squad not up to scratch, Brian set about rebuilding the team, and survival was ensured on the final day with a 4-2 victory over Hull City.
Following a memorable run in the F.A. Cup this season, where the Swans knocked out Preston North End en route to the fifth round, Brian was last month relieved of his duties, since when the team has noticeably suffered without his vast experience and knowledge.
Nelson FC would like to thank Brian for kindly giving up his time to reward the Juniors for their achievements on the field this season.