DOUBLE congratulations are due to Football Hall of Fame WA inductee Bob Brown.
He was 89 years young (!) on August 9 – and his birthday celebrations were enhanced when he was presented with a plaque to commemorate his role as Team Manager of the WA State team that faced the might of Manchester United at the WACA Ground in 1967.
Hall of Fame Committee member Elizabeth Re made the presentation to Bob, who was unable to attend the Football Hall of Fame WA function which was held at Optus Stadium on July 13 to coincide with Man United’s game against Perth Glory.
Some of the WA players, and officials, who were involved in the 1967 game were honoured on the night – as were other State team players and officials who were involved when the Red Devils visited Perth again in 1975. Julius Re, who was the president of the SFWA in 1967, was among those honoured at Optus Stadium. He is now 87.
Bob, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 and is a former treasurer of the Hall of Fame Committee, is currently the second oldest of the inductees.
The oldest is former referee Roy Stedman, who is 94. Roy, coincidentally, was the man in the middle when Man United beat the State team 7-0 in 1967. Another referee to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Eddie Evans, is now 83.
Ron Adair is the oldest member of the Hall of Legends. He turned 88 earlier this year.
Another of the Legends, John McInroy, is 80, while super coach Alan Vest, who was upgraded to the status of Legend in 2016, is 79.
Bob Brown has been involved in local football for over 60 years, a contribution which was celebrated when he was made a Life Member of Football West a few years ago.
Born in Scotland, he emigrated to WA in 1958 and played with North Perth and then Perth City before an on-going knee injury forced his retirement.
He became secretary/manager of Perth City in 1961 – and a few years later was called on by the Soccer Federation of WA to take charge of the manager duties of the State team.
Apart from looking after the team that faced Manchester United 1967, he was also manager of the side that took part in the Merdeka Tournament in Malaysia, which was the first overseas trip by the WA State team.
Bob also got involved in coaching with Bayswater United in 1969 and, along with Frank Schaper and John Birighitti, helped to set up the first Coaches Association in WA.
He also coached several youth teams and was an Independent Member of the SFWA from 1970 to 1972 and later Junior Vice-President in 1980-81.
He went into the sporting goods business in 1969 and was approached to sponsor the junior game. He was the first sponsor of the Country Week competition, an involvement he maintained for many years.
His business in the centre of Perth, Sports Forum, was the first of its type in the city to sell football-related items.
He was one of the original Committee members of the Football Hall of Fame WA, which was set up in 1996. He was treasurer of the body up until 2012 and stood down from the Committee in 2015.
PIC ONE: Bob Brown (left) and Julius Re. PIC TWO: Roy Stedman. PIC THREE: Alan Vest, John McInroy and Ron Adair.