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Hitchin stalwart Claude Brown dies aged 88

Friday, April 16 2010

Claude BrownHitchin Town was saddened to hear of the death of Claude Brown, one of the great club stalwarts.

Claude made his debut for Hitchin against Hoxton Manor in 1938-39 as a teenager. He was something of a prodigious talent and was capped by England schoolboys, playing alongside the legendary Len Shackleton.

Claude was a mainstay of the club during World War Two and into the post-war years, but his career ended in 1953 after a serious head injury against Bromley.

But he continued to be deeply involved at the club, filling a variety of roles, including assistant manager, coach, caretaker manager and reserve team manager.

Born in Hitchin, Claude was part of a genuine sporting family – four of Claude’s siblings all played for the club, including the popular Reg Brown.

Claude was universally regarded as a gentleman and was much loved by everyone at Top Field, including the many players who passed through the dressing room. Even in recent years, when Claude suffered ill-health and was confined to a nursing home, players from the past would visit him.

Hitchin Town will hold a minute’s silence before the game with Beaconsfield on April 17, ironically on the day that a players’ reunion also takes place. “Claude would have loved to have been there for that – he was held in the highest esteem by his team-mates and the players who served under him,” said former Hitchin manager and close friend Brian Williams.

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