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Craig Brown: I love Newmains United, now the community can too

MAN TO BOY: Craig Brown as Scotland manager (left) and as a player in 1957

FORMER Scotland boss Craig Brown’s insists his best days as a player on and off the pitch were at Victoria Park.

Now he’s backing Newmains United’s bid to raise cash to restore the club’s links with the local community.

The McBookie West Region League Two side launched a brilliant crowdfunding film last week with Brown at the heart of it.

Co-bosses Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell as well as players Nicky-Ray Watson, Andrew MacKenzie and Cammy Browning also star in the footage.

Brown spent a season on loan at Coltness – United’s forerunning team – from Rangers in 1958 and remembers the bond the club had with village.

Now he hopes that sort of link can be restored, with the club vowing to put on free classes for wellness and education if they land enough donations to upgrade their rickety clubhouse.

Brown – national manager from 1993 to 2001 – said: “Newmains was the place I enjoyed playing the most and the goodwill from the town towards me, the players and the team was terrific.

“It’s a great and resourceful initiative to restore Newmains to Newmains. In the days I played there it did bring the community together. We had a good team and competed very favourably.

“I’ve got a very big soft spot for the club. When I played I never heard abuse, even towards the opposition. They were always very supportive and I had a real feeling for the club.

“The fact there’s a team there in the community is very important because a team can bring the community together. Hopefully it’ll be back like that as soon as possible.”

The three-minute video was put together by the club’s academy department, which gives budding media stars a chance to showcase their talents.

Local film director Hannah Wilson – who also produced the club’s Christmas Message in December – again oversaw proceedings with London-based Holly Winship editing and additional camera work done by Aberdeen film graduate Craig Patullo.

Despite growing up in Hamilton, Brown had never heard of the club until legendary Gers boss Scot Symon told him he was sending him there.

Brown – the last boss to guide Scotland to a major finals in 1998 – said: “The first time I heard the club, which was known as Coltness then, mentioned was when I was at Ibrox as a young player.

“When Scot Symon said he was sending me there I had no idea where it was. When I asked him why he was sending me there he said they’d got the best pitch in junior football.

“He said it was a big pitch so as I was a midfielder it would help me increase my fitness and give me more time on the ball. He thought it would be a good venue for a young up and coming player and the Lanarkshire junior league was a good standard. It was the first I had heard of the place.

“As it turned out the Newmains pitch in those days was a match for any pitch. I was there for one year and we were disappointed to lose in the Scottish Cup away to Vale of Clyde. I’m sure we wouldn’t have lost at home with the good core of supporters we had.”

To see the fundraising video or to donate click here.