Driffield-born forward Linton James Brown had enjoyed several seasons in the Yorkshire non-league scene before he had a trial at League Division 3 side Halifax Town over the 1992 festive period, making three senior appearances for the Shaymen. His pace and direct running clearly did enough to impress City manager Terry Dolan who was able to deploy several thousands of pounds raised through the club’s “Put A Tiger In Your Team” campaign to fund the acquisition and retention of Brown. The unique way that Brown’s wages were being funded perhaps put extra pressure on him to perform in what was his first full-time role in senior football, and while his willing running soon elicited the chant “Knees Up Linton Brown” on the terraces, it yielded only one goal in a March 1993 1-0 victory over Mansfield, a rare win in a second half of the season that saw the Tigers struggle.
Handed the centre forward’s shirt for the 1993/94 season, Brown scored an opening day winner at Barnet and quickly struck up a potent partnership with another local boy Dean Windass. A run of victories took the Tigers to the top of the League Division 2 table by early October, Brown contributed five goals and Windass netted 11 times. A six match winless run was ended by three wins in November, Linton scored in all three games. However from December onwards Linton’s goals dried up and he netted only once more in a February 1994 3-0 win at Brentford.
Brown kept his place for most of the 1994/95 season and scored four times in the opening two months of the season before a somewhat unexpected 7-1 demolition of Crewe Alexandra in late October yielded Brown his only hattrick for the Tigers. By mid-March 1995 Linton had taken his tally to 13 goals when an injury bought his season to a premature end. Restored to first team action at the start of the 1995/96 season, Brown struggled for consistency and was in and out of the first team for most of what proved to be a cataclysmically bad season for the Tigers that ended in relegation to the fourth tier. Linton’s only goal of the season came in an August 1995 2-1 win against Blackpool.
Brown was apparently rescued in March 1996 when he transferred to fellow League Division 2 strugglers, although the rescue wasn’t successful as both Swansea and Hull were relegated weeks later. Brown was a support striker and occasional wing back for Swansea during the 1996/97 season as they reached the League Division 3 play-offs only to lose to Northampton Town in the final – Brown contributed three goals during the season against Darlington, Barnet and – inevitably, in January 1997 – Hull City. Linton spent the early weeks of the 1997/98 season on loan at Scarborough, making four appearances and scoring on his debut against Lincoln. He returned to Swansea in late September 1997 and spent the rest of the season on the fringes of the first team, taking his Swans total to 33 appearances and 3 goals.
Leaving Swansea in the 1998 close season, Brown completed his playing career at Emley and Gainsborough Trinity. When he hung up his boots in 2000 – though he still playing local league football in Hull – Linton began a second career in marketing and in the early 2000s was employed in the commercial department at Adam Pearson’s Hull City. By 2007 he was appointed Commercial Manager, a post he held until 2013 when he moved on Barnsley, rising to become the Tykes’ Chief Executive by 2016. Leaving Oakwell in 2017 he had a short spell at Bolton Wanderers and set up his own sports branding consultancy. In September 2019 Linton was appointed Chief Commercial Officer at Blackpool.
Date/Place of Birth: 12 April 1968, Driffield
Hull City First Game: 9 January 1993, Preston North End A (League Division 2), 24 years, 272 days old
Hull City Final Game: 16 March 1996, Brighton & Hove Albion A (League Division 2), 27 years, 339 days old
Bridlington Town (1989-1991), North Ferriby United (1991-1992), Guiseley (1992), Halifax Town (1992-1993), Hull City (1993-1996), Swansea City (1996-1998), Scarborough (1997, loan), Emley (1998), Gainsborough Trinity (1998-1999)
Hull City Record
Career: 136 apps, 25 goalsLinton Brown
|1992/93||20 (3)||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1993/94||38 (4)||9||2 (0)||1||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1994/95||32 (1)||13||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1995/96||21 (2)||1||1 (1)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|