He caught many a shot or cross as goalkeeper for Stenhousemuir but there is one great catch he has never let go of – his wife of 60 years.
George and Margaret Brown from California celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last Wednesday and looked back on six decades together among “special” family and friends.
Like most couples we’ve had our disagreements over the years but you have to stick at it and work things outGeorge Brown
George (83), originally from Kilsyth, was a professional footballer as a young man, playing between the sticks for St Johnstone (1949-50), Stenhousemuir (1951-56) and Crewe for a year until an injury to a cruciate knee ligament ended his career.
“You didn’t come back from cruciate injuries back then like they do now,” said George.
Like many couples of a bygone era, they met at ‘the dancing’ at Doaks in Falkirk and courted for a year-and-a-half before George popped the question on a romantic stroll along the canal lade at Auchinstarry.
“I nearly fell in the canal when he asked,” said Margaret, nee White.
“George was due to do his two years National Service and wanted to get married before he got posted because he might have been posted abroad.”
The couple were married at the Blackbraes Mission Hall on March 11, 1955, by a Salvation Army captain from George’s home town.
Margaret’s bridesmaid was her younger sister Betty White, while George’s best man was his cousin George Clark.
Margaret said: “Because of our names – Brown and White – everyone said we broke the colour bar.”
After leaving the Army George was an HGV driver with Calor Gas for 25 years while Margaret was the homemaker looking after their son and daughter Don (59) Elizabeth Bell (55) and other members of her family.
They now have four grandchildren and five great grandchildren who were all part of a 22-strong family celebration at the Park Hotel last Sunday.
And the secret to their long and happy marriage is to “stick at it”.
George said: “Like most couples we’ve had our disagreements over the years but you have to stick at it and work things out.
“We have been blessed with the special family and lifetime friends we have and they have helped us through dark patches.”