The man behind one of the Evening Telegraph’s most popular columns has toasted 25 years since it was first published – and promises there is plenty more to come.
Blether with Brown has been the topic of discussion for many years in the pubs, shops and factories of Dundee, and even further afield.
And journalist John Brown, who also played as a left-half for East Fife, has said he has no intention of hanging up his pen and pad at the age of 68.
John’s column invites people to share their memories of their time on the football fields across the City of Discovery.
Looking back on his time, he said he is truly “humbled” by the reaction he has got from the column, which was created off the back of a story regarding a Milan derby.
He added: “I can’t believe it has been 25 years, it shows you how far time has moved on I actually Tweeted about it.
“The success of it grew off the back of an article regarding a Milan Derby. Someone got in contact to say I remember something similar happened in a match between Lochee Harp and the Violet and it went from there.”
The former Morgan Academy pupil said he didn’t come up with the name that has become synonymous with readers.
He added: “Alan Proctor was the editor at the time and he really loved the junior and amateur football and he said he wanted to ‘personalise the column’ with Blether with Brown.”
John who previously covered games for the People’s Journal under the byline of the “Taysider” revealed he is already working on upcoming stories, including a piece with Ex-Rangers star Derek Johnstone amongst others.
He added: “I kept thinking someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and say the paper are going to move in a different direction and that will be that but here we are 25 years on.
“I’ve recently worked on the story with Derek and it is still fascinating to get the insight of these ex-pros on their own careers.”
Although the weird and wonderful nature of the stories John has shared has remained consistent – including giving Pele a high-five at Dens – the method in which readers share their stories has changed.
He added: “The internet has provided a steady stream of people getting in touch regarding local football, from New Zealand and the South China Seas believe it or not.
“Back in the day you were sending out a Sporting Post to Canada and waiting up to six weeks for a reply from someone but everything is instantly done now.”
- Dundee United hero David Narey’s ‘chaos’ in Cologne, Gellatly Street FC and Dundee legend capped just once for Scotland
- The story of the first Butterburn player to star for Celtic
- Five North of Tay Cup Finals but just one success for Broughty goalie Ally
Despite a number of successful stories both on and off the football field, an encounter with a young Tiger Woods is his favourite tale to “blether” about.
He said: “It was 1995 and Tiger was playing at Carnoustie, me and my son had gone down and Tiger was going to place his score card in.
“The press pack were waiting outside but he was part of a group of three and the press descended on one of the other players.
“Tiger had no entourage with him and I asked if I could have a word for the paper, he was very polite and thanked me for talking to him.
“Here we had this emerging star and he told me I was the first journalist who had interviewed him and, to this day, I still say I was the first British journalist to interview him.
“He had commented that he had found the Links course hard with the wind, and I went onto ask what he did to relax in his downtime, and he said that he read Stephen King novels.
“The headline the next day was: ‘Nightmare For Tiger on Dalhousie Street’.”