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Rugby lost one of its great characters when Gordon Brown died of cancer in 2001, at the age of 53.
‘Broon frae’ Troon’, as he was universally known in honour of his hometown in the west of Scotland, was a giant of British rugby in every sense of the word. Standing 1.96m tall and weighing 102kg, Brown’s physicality alongside Willie John McBride in the Lions second row helped secure series wins in New Zealand (1971) and South Africa (1974). He also went on a third tour, again to New Zealand, in 1977.
Brown played in 30 internationals for Scotland – at the same time as his brother Peter, winning his first cap in 1969 against South Africa and his last against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 1976.
A natural entertainer and raconteur, Brown was a popular addition to the after-dinner speaking circuit on his retirement from the game.