Oldest swinger in town
Former Scotland manager Craig Brown, now 70, has admitted throwing a punch at a director of the Danish club Odense during Motherwell’s Europa League defeat.
HE IS one of the most senior figures in Scottish football with a reputation as an articulate, levelheaded and peaceable man.
But the former manager of the Scotland national team, Craig Brown, proved that he still had some fight in him when the 70-year-old yesterday admitted that he punched an official from an opposing team on the touchline.
The incident happened after his current club Motherwell were awarded a late penalty dur- ing their 1-0 second-leg defeat by Danish side Odense at Fir Park on Thursday night.
Kim Brink, one of the visiting team’s directors, was seen to barge into Mr Brown, sending him off balance.
Mr Brown responded with what he described as a “retaliatory punch”.
Mr Brink was escorted away from the technical area by a chief steward, who later identified him through a photograph as the Odense director.
Speaking after the match, Mr Brown was unapologetic saying that he had acted in self-defence: “I think it was their sporting director that got a bit carried away.
“I don’t know why but he came to our dugout. We had a wee bit of a disagreement, putting it euphemistically.
“I got a shove and I had a retaliatory punch. I’m a calm guy but if anyone is old enough to remember when I played the game, I was accused of being quite aggressive.
“I don’t want to get messed about and I wasn’t going to be messed about.”
He said police spoke to both managers afterwards. “They are taking no further action and he has apologised,” he said.
“He said it was uncharacteristic and the police thought it was not behaviour befitting a visiting official.
“They asked me if I wanted to take the thing any further and I said no. You want to keep these things in football and, anyway, it could have been the other way around.”
Speaking to The Scotsman last night about the incident, Mr Brown did his best to play down the incident. He said: “There was nothing to report, there was no incident of any consequence at all. It was a storm in a tea cup.”
On Motherwell fans’ forums yesterday, the incident proved a minor flashpoint after an evening of disappointment.
Most supporters appeared bemused by the incident. On Firpark.com, “derek1885” offered the following observation: “The director pushed Brown, got sent to the stand then applauded his team’s time-wasting at the penalty and then went down the stairs.”
Meanwhile, on steelmenonline.co.uk, one fan by the name of “pepper” laughed off the rumpus, commenting: “Only Motherwell could have a fighting pensioner as a manager!”
Ironically, the incident took place on the same day that the Motherwell manager took part in the launch of the Scottish Government’s Steps for Stress Campaign, which aims to help people cut the amount of stress in their lives and the attendant problems that come with it.
Mr Brown, however, denied he was stress-prone, stating: “I’m not in the least stressed at any time. I’m the calmest, least stressed guy you could ever meet.”
neither Motherwell or Odense football clubs were available for comment.
Ex-Scotland boss Craig Brown confronts Danish director Kim Brink during a heated moment at Motherwell’s Fir Park on Thursday night