Les Brown was a good all-round sportsman — Price

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, November 10, 2018

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Boys' Town stalwart Lesburn “Les” Brown, who died over a week ago at age 70, was regarded as a “good all-round” sportsman due to his exploits in cricket and football.

Brown, the brother of former national football coach Carl Brown, had the reputation of being an agile, hard-tackling footballer and a very handy cricketer.

“He was just good all-round,” senior Reggae Girlz Assistant Coach Andrew Price, a Boys' Town son of the soil in his own right, told the Jamaica Observer.

“He was a hard-nosed defender and he played for Vere Technical High School, and they won the daCosta Cup in 1965 where he played alongside Allan “Skill” Cole. He was one of the first Jamaicans to play professionally in the United States, so he was a real pioneer.

“I remember seeing him in his prime when I was a youngster. He was a no-nonsense tackler, but he read the game very well. He was very agile, and he could jump with taller players and out-jump them.

“He was also an excellent cricketer. As a matter of fact, he captained his team to Headley Cup victories at Vere Tech and he also played Senior Cup for Boys' Town. He was a left-arm spinner and lower-order batsman and he was an excellent fielder,” he said.

Aside from schoolboy titles with Clarendon-based Vere Technical, Brown had success in club football with Boys' Town FC and their major rivals Santos FC.

“His first club was Santos — a lot of people wouldn't know that. And then after leaving Santos he came to Boys' Town, but Vere Technical and Santos had a connection in the 1960s through Winston Chung Fah and [Winthorpe] “Jackie” Bell. In the '70s he returned to Boys' Town after finishing his contract in the United States and he played for Boys' Town for several years,” Price recalled.

Brown also played football and cricket for Jamaica.

Price, a standout defender in his day, said Brown was someone he looked to for advice.

“He had a quiet demeanor, he always had a smile on his face and he would mentor a lot of the younger players over the years. He always loved to sit down and talk, and you could always pinch him to get information from him on how to deal with a certain player. He would tell you how to tackle and how to delay tackles; he was that type of person. He was also a student of the game,” he told the Observer.

Price marvelled at Brown's physical fitness and said he was a better player than his brother Carl.

“I tell you something. I think Les Brown was probably the fittest individual I ever met in my life. He could run for hours upon hours; he should have done the marathon for Jamaica because he was so fit. He just had that energy.

“He was very short in stature, but believe me, he was one of the hardest tacklers you could find. I think he was one of Jamaica's better defenders, and I know Carl wouldn't mind if I said he [Lesburn] was better than him,” Price said.

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