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Sports journalist and Town Guide leaves behind fond memories and plenty of tales

todayJanuary 5, 2021 8

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A former national sports journalist and Lynn Town Guide has died peacefully at the age of 83.

Adrian Brown, who lived at Thornham, began his 56 years as a journalist at the Lynn News, where he became sports editor, after leaving school at 16.

He went on to join the sports desk at the Daily Mirror from 1968, night-editing the back pages at a time when the paper was selling five million copies with Hugh Cudlipp as editor.

Adrian Brown has died at the age of 83. Picture: SUBMITTED
Adrian Brown has died at the age of 83. Picture: SUBMITTED

Mr Brown was employed by the Mail on Sunday from 1988 until his retirement in 2009, and also worked for BBC’s Grandstand during his distinguished career.

There were a few years working on a local newspaper in Port Colborne, Ontario during his early years, as well as a “Fleet Street sabbatical” at the Los Angeles Times from 1973-76.

His son recalls how even when, long past conventional retirement age, and his working week had been reduced to a Saturday shift at the Mail on Sunday, Mr Brown would still embark on the 130-mile trek on his motorcycle from Thornham at 4.45am. He would call in at the butcher’s in Lynn, making sure he had pork pies for everybody in his London office.

Adrian Brown pictured with his son Oliver. Picture: SUBMITTED
Adrian Brown pictured with his son Oliver. Picture: SUBMITTED

Born in November 1937, he grew up on Holcombe Avenue in Lynn during the Second World War and recalled a bomb going off a few doors along from where he lived.

His fascination with American culture stemmed from being introduced to American servicemen and their jazz music at the now-abandoned Little America, US base at RAF Sculthorpe during the height of the Cold War tensions.

Mr Brown, known as AB to many of his colleagues, met his wife Sheila while working on the 1970 Fifa World Cup before getting married in 1971.

He leaves behind two sons Nick and Oliver after his first son Adrian died tragically in 2001 during an operation.

Oliver was inspired to follow in his father’s footsteps and is now the chief sports writer for the Telegraph.

Speaking about his father, Oliver said: “He was a brilliant journalist endlessly fascinated with the English language and he was an extremely eagle-eyed editor.

“He was working at a time when Fleet Street was incredibly tough; he was determined, he was good at what he did and he was extremely popular with colleagues.

“He was a staunch traditionalist. I would always remind him people consume journalism on iPads and mobile phones but he was a print man to the bones and he would make sure he bought the papers every morning.

“He knew what it took to put a paper together and he loved the process that went into it.”

Mr Brown was a golf enthusiast who described the Royal West Norfolk Golf Course at Brancaster as his favourite place in the world.

His wish was for his ashes to be scattered on Brancaster beach.

Oliver said he knew “everything and everyone in King’s Lynn” and enjoyed his time as a Town Guide.

“He was very proud to be from Lynn and it really was his home,” Oliver said. “For all he talks about America, and we lived in London for a quite a while, he always wanted to come back to Norfolk as he loves Lynn.”

Mr Brown was a great lover of dogs with donations being accepted for Guide Dogs for The Blind by John Lincoln Funeral Directors in his memory.

He died peacefully at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the early hours of Boxing Day.

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todayJanuary 5, 2021 8