A blast from the Past

While up the High Street yesterday I happened to bump into none other than Charlie Brown who looked as sprightly as ever for someone approaching 88.

Charlie signed for Queens from local side LMS Rovers at the same time as Dougie McBain joined as a right-half.

He played in the same team as the legendary Billy Houliston who went on to win international fame and boasted a proud claim of never being in a losing side for Scotland.

Added Charlie himself, "It was indeed an honour to play in the same team as `Bustling Billy`.

"While playing in the blue of Scotland he helped his country to a memorable 3-1 victory over the `auld enemy` at Wembley and I`m certain he was never on the losing side at international level".

Charlie`s biggest disappointment came the following season and he recalls, "Although we hadn`t done well in the League, the Scottish Cup was a different story!

"In the first round we beat Inverness Caley 1-0 away from home and in the next round we drew 1-1 with Morton at Palmerston.

"Nobody gave us much chance for the replay at Cappielow but we went up there to Greenock and beat them 3-0 and I grabbed the third goal.

"It was then Aberdeen at home but we found ourselves 3-1 down at half-time.

"However, Dougie McBain raised our hopes when he netted 10 minutes from time to reduce the leeway and just a minute later Dougie McAvoy grabbed an equaliser.

"Very few gave us a chance in the re-play up at Pittodrie but we shocked them by winning 2-1 with Billy Houliston and Charlie Johnston netting.

"In a spell of just eight days we`d met Aberdeen three times, including a league fixture, and actually stayed up there in the Granite City for eight days.

"We were now into the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and what seemed to be `half the town of Dumfries` made for Hampden by train, bus and private cars.

"Unfortunately I wasn`t playing that afternoon which was a major disappointment but I was still there to cheer the lads on.

"We were actually leading 1-0 with a goal from Jackie Brown, but a defensive mix-up between our keeper Roy Henderson and Dougie Sharpe saw Rangers grab a late equaliser.

"The gate that day was 53,000.

"You rarely get a second chance against the `old firm` and in the replay they beat us 3-0". Said Charlie, "Two of the hardest players I came up against in my career were Ranger`s players, Willie Woodburn and Scotland captain big George Young.

"Both were as `hard as nails` and they knew it!"

He `hung up his boots` at the end of season 1953 but admitted, "I had a few offers from South of the Border and even one from Wales but I knew myself it was time to `call it a day`.

For a great many years Charlie worked in the building trade. However, later in life he was proprietor of the Laundrette in Annan Road for many years, but has now retired.

He was a keen supporter of Queens and still pops along to Palmerston when he gets a chance, and it was so nice to see him at the recent `Hall of Fame` dinner in the Cairndale Hotel back in December.

And he adds, "I was very sad to here of the recent death of Bobby Black. I knew him well, he was a great winger and I was sitting next to him at the actual event.

He keeps himself fit by playing golf and has a beautiful house and garden to relax in.

Holidays abroad were also high on his agenda and he and his wife always made time for that

Unfortunately she died last year but he still visits his brother-in-law in Portugal to keep in touch.