Albert Brown

Albert Brown

Albert Brown was born in Aston, Birmingham, on 7th January 1862. He played football for Mitchell St George's before joining Aston Villa in August 1884. Brown was the younger brother of the Villa player, Arthur Brown.

Brown played for Aston Villa at right-half, outside right or inside right. The club did very well in the 1886-87 season. They lost very few games and scored over 130 goals in the process. Stars of the team included Archie Hunter, Dennis Hodgetts and Howard Vaughan.

Aston Villa also had a good run in the 1886-87 FA Cup. They beat Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-0), Horncastle (5-0), Darwen (3-2) and Glasgow Rangers (3-1) to reach the final for the first time. Their local rivals, West Bromwich Albion, also reached the final.

The final was to be played at the Kennington Oval. The experienced Archie Hunter believed that this ground would be to the advantage of Aston Villa: "Our style of play is suited to a big ground, and the Albion with their long passing have the advantage on a small field. On the Oval we both shall have an equal chance, and where things are equal the short passing game is always the best. These are my reasons for thinking we will win on Saturday."

West Bromwich Albion was the better team in the first-half. However, in the second-half Aston Villa took control and it was no surprise when Richmond Davis, the team's outside-right, crossed for Dennis Hodgetts to sidefoot the ball in the net. WBA players claimed that Hodgetts was offside but the referee, Francis Marindin, who was also president of the Football Association, refused to change his mind.

In the 89th minute Archie Hunter raced through the West Bromwich Albion defence. He appeared to have pushed the ball too far ahead of him and the WBA goalkeeper, Bob Roberts, dashed forward but Hunter, stretching to the full, managed to get one final touch on the ball. As Hunter and Roberts collided the ball trickled over the line. Hunter was the first player to score in every round of the FA Cup competition.

The first season of the Football League began in September, 1888. Preston North End won the first championship that year without losing a single match and acquired the name the "Invincibles". Eighteen wins and four draws gave them a 11 point lead at the top of the table. Aston Villa finished in second place with 29 points. Brown scored 7 in 22 games.

Aston Villa finished in 9th place in the 1890-91 season. Albert Brown was top scorer with 11 goals in 16 games. He lost his place during the next season and the outstanding form of John Devey kept him out of the side. He regained his place in the 1892-93 season. However, he was forced to retire after getting badly injured in 1894. Brown had scored 54 goals in 106 games during his time at Aston Villa.

Albert Brown died in Birmingham in 1930.