Jump to content

Caption comp

Recommended Posts

Phil Brown's 'Good Samaritan' act puts Hull City's problems into perspective


By Rob Stewart

Published: 7:00AM BST 02 Oct 2009


When Brown led his players on a stroll across the Humber Bridge he ended up as an unlikely knight in shining armour when he persuaded a woman he suspected could be about to attempt to commit suicide not to jump into the estuary.


"We walked across the Humber Bridge on Wednesday and saved a girl actually," Brown said yesterday in his office at Hull's humble Cottingham training ground as he drolly related the encounter.


"She was considering her future, shall we say, but you never know whether somebody is just standing there until they jump. But there was no need to be up there unless you were a football team looking for inspiration. Maybe she must have seen us and thought 'at least it's not that bad'. Well for me in particular – not the players.


"She was claiming she was 40-plus, but she looked a lot younger I tell you. Nobody said she was going to jump. She was contemplating her future, but so was I. In the end she tootled off back to wherever she had come from. I'd sweet-talked her out of it."


Mystery will surround the woman's reasons for being there when Brown turned up with his players after cancelling training as he sought new ways to halt his Premier League club's slump and invigorate his own career.


"The bridge was built with modern-day engineering so that when an ill-wind blows, it gets stronger. The weight bears down harder and it becomes a sturdier structure," said Brown.


"I have been up on the Humber Bridge many times. I walk over the Humber on many nights in the week. I was born on the river [Tyne] and I get strength from the river. Has anybody ever stopped me? I have always got a smile on my face – at least I try to.


"We were looking for clarity up there. Did we find it? Absolutely. When you are jogging you cannot speak, when you are walking you can."


The tranquillity was disturbed only by the passing lorry drivers and motorists but Brown, 50, was not complaining. "You always get a reaction from the drivers and we went into Mrs B's [the Woodland Cafe] at this end of the bridge for a coffee. She is quite an engaging woman and it is good to have a bit of craic with the people of Humberside who support the football club. There are plenty of characters there."


Thanks to his penchant for the unorthodox, it is not the first time Brown has taken his players for a walk. Last season he led them from the KC Stadium to survey the ruins of the Boothferry Park ground to demonstrate the progress the club had made since it faced financial ruin.


"You are trying to give the players an insight into the history of the football club so there is an understanding when you pull a Hull City shirt on," Brown said. "You are not just playing for a living. You are playing for a club that is close to my heart. These players need to realise that."


That is why Brown appointed local hero Nicky Barmby as his captain after Ian Ashbee's long-term knee injury.


"The job has got Nicky written all over," Brown said. "He has matured, never more so than in the last few years with Hull City. I feel we can share one or two things and speak frankly. None more so than about the situation at Hull City at the moment. In terms of leadership in the dressing room he is the obvious candidate until Ian Ashbee gets back."


Despite the club's slide, for now Brown does not feel as though his job is under threat. "I don't feel I am fighting for my job," he said. "I have got a good support mechanism with the chairman and the owners."


Training-ground routines have also been changed as Brown prepares for Saturday's visit of Wigan. "Things that we have been doing this week have been a little bit different. Not the normal," Brown added.


"It has been geared towards getting success at the weekend. You obviously want to go back to successful periods and we have got a number of reference points over the last 2½ years.


"We got away from those in the last two or three games and we need to get back to them. I am loath to say back to basics but it did need to be stripped bare and started again."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...