David Brown joined Hull City on loan in March 1998 and immediately impressed with his hard working attitude and forward playing skills. It is testament to manager Mark Hateley’s connections in the game that he was able to attract one of Manchester United’s promising youngsters to a club that at the time was struggling at the foot of the Football League. Brown clearly impressed the City management, and City clearly impressed Brown, because in July 1998 he signed a permanent deal with the Tigers. The 1998/99 season was one of the most notable in Hull City history – in the opening months Hateley’s side struggled for results and by December was marooned at the foot of the table, then Warren Joyce took over and through new signings and a new spirit he engineered a most unlikely but celebratory Great Escape. Brown was involved throughout that season, missing only 4 league games and bagging 11 league goals. He also commenced a pleasing commitment to scoring in Cup competitions, scoring in three of City’s four League Cup matches – two-legged affairs against Stockport and his hometown club Bolton, the scene of a notorious tennis ball protest.
With ejection from the Football League avoided Warren Joyce set about building a City squad equipped for more than blunt survival, Brown remained a key part of these plans and in 1999/00 he missed only one League match. However Brown’s relatively modest haul of six goals betrayed an apparent creeping disinterest in the Tigers’ cause. When Brian Little took over the reins in 2000/01 he used Brown just as regularly as Hateley and Joyce, but more as impact substitute than as starter. As the season wore on and City powered into the play-offs, Brown was a peripheral figure usurped up front by Rodney Rowe, Kevin Francis and John Eyre. He came on as a late substitute in the play-off semi-final away leg at Leyton Orient that ended in defeat, his final game for Hull City.
Born in Bolton, Brown was not spotted by Manchester United’s considerable scouting operation in his teenage years and completed his apprenticeship at Oldham Athletic. It was only in July 1995 that Manchester United signed Brown a non-regulation approach that yielded an FA charge and a £20,000 fine for the Red Devils. Signing professional terms in August 1997, Brown was prolific in United’s reserve team but was unable to secure first team action, prompting his move, initially on loan, to Hull City.
In September 2001 Brown, along with his City team-mate Gary Brabin, joined Torquay United on a trial basis but Brown was not signed. He returned to Plainmoor in November 2001, again on non-contract terms, but did not impress in two first team appearances and was released three weeks later. Brown joined Conference National side Chester City in December 2001 and made 13 appearances during the remainder of the season before again being released. He spent four years in the non-leagues with Telford United, Hereford United and Accrington Stanley where he rediscovered his goalscoring prowess. In 2006 he helped Accrington to promotion back to the Football League – this Conference National winners medal was the only major honour Brown won in his career – and he played a supporting role to the first team for two seasons of fourth tier football. In July 2008 he returned to the non-league scene, spending six months at Barrow then completed his playing career with spells at Forest Green Rovers (joining in January 2009) and Wrexham (joining in June 2010).
At Forest Green he was appointed player/assistant manager in July 2009, and within a week of the season starting he was appointed caretaker manager following the sacking of boss Jim Harvey. Results were not good though and a month later Brown returned to the playing ranks, replaced at the helm by ex-Tiger Dave Hockaday. After his playing career ended Brown did scouting for Scottish side Motherwell and found his feet when he set up a podiatry business in Wigan.
Date/Place of Birth: 2 October 1978, Bolton
Hull City First Game: 28 March 1998, Macclesfield Town H (League Division 3), 19 years, 177 days old
Hull City Final Game: 16 May 2001, Leyton Orient A (League Division 3 Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg), 22 years, 226 days old
Manchester United (1997-1998), Hull City (1998, loan), Hull City (1998-2001), Torquay United (2001), Chester City (2001-2002), Telford United (2002-2003), Hereford United (2003-2005), Accrington Stanley (2005-2008), Burton Albion (2006, loan), Rushden & Diamonds (2008, loan), Northwich Victoria (2008, loan), Barrow (2008-2009), Forest Green Rovers (2009-2010), Wrexham (2010-2011)
Hull City Record
Career: 157 apps, 31 goalsDavid Brown
|1998/99||38 (4)||11||3 (0)||0||4 (0)||3||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1999/00||39 (6)||6||5 (0)||3||4 (0)||2||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|2000/01||24 (13)||4||2 (0)||0||1 (1)||0||-||-||1 (1)||0|