Craig Brown was second Motherwell FC star to win awards on historic 1921 foreign tour

Craig Brown was a popular figure among Motherwell fans for his no nonsense style of play
Craig Brown was a popular figure among Motherwell fans for his no nonsense style of play

The Motherwell Times has unearthed the second Motherwell FC player to star on a historic tour of Canada and the USA in 1921.

Craig Brown earned the man of the match award for his brilliant display in the opening match of Third Lanark select groundbreaking visit – the first foreign trip backed by the Scottish Football Association – which saw the team win 19 games out of 19 and score a total of 86 goals while conceding only eight.

The Motherwell squad pictured prior to season 1920-1921. Craig Brown is pictured third from left in the middle row. The Best Wishes message at the top of the photograph was written by team-mate Hugh Ferguson, a Motherwell legend who scored a phenomenal 284 goals in 288 games between 1916 and 1925. Tragically, Ferguson committed suicide at the age of 34 on January 8, 1930. (Pics courtesy of Keith Brown)

The Motherwell squad pictured prior to season 1920-1921. Craig Brown is pictured third from left in the middle row. The Best Wishes message at the top of the photograph was written by team-mate Hugh Ferguson, a Motherwell legend who scored a phenomenal 284 goals in 288 games between 1916 and 1925. Tragically, Ferguson committed suicide at the age of 34 on January 8, 1930. (Pics courtesy of Keith Brown)

Craig’s great nephew Keith Brown (56), whose family still have the medals and cufflinks awarded to the legend in Canada 97 years ago, told the Motherwell Times: “I take great pride that my uncle won this award.

“Craig – my grandfather Tom’s brother – was excellent in that first match, a 7-0 win over Halifax in Nova Scotia on May 21.

“The fact that Third Lanark scored seven yet a defender got the award means he must have been good!

“As a boy, I used to love going to my grandpa’s house in Bute Avenue, Motherwell and him telling me stories about that 1921 tour.”

Craig Brown's commemorative medals and cufflinks from the 1921 tour remain proud possessions of his ancestors

Craig Brown's commemorative medals and cufflinks from the 1921 tour remain proud possessions of his ancestors

Keith also revealed that Craig, an uncompromising centre back, was so popular with Motherwell fans that they gave him his own poem.

It read: ‘We’ve a Centre Half of renown; Who’s known in every big town; His nicknames the Tank; He’s as safe as a Bank; Our Big centre half Craig Brown’.

After starring for junior outfit Carluke Rovers between 1910 and 1913, Brown joined English senior side Bradford City and played with them in tandem with serving in the Army during World War One.

He signed for Motherwell in 1916, beginning a happy eight-year stay before returning to Bradford City.

Brown later had spells with Morton and Peebles Rovers before hanging up his boots due to knee injury problems.

Keith contacted this newspaper after reading our recent article revealing that historian David Copland was selling the gold medal awarded to first goalscorer on the Canada tour Willie Rankin – the other Motherwell player picked – on eBay.