A LOCAL footballing legend with terminal cancer has made an emotional last visit to the club he propelled to Wembley glory in an historic match.

Allan Brown, who scored winning goal for Crook Town Amateur Football Club in the 1964 FA Amateur Cup final was greeted at The Millfield in Crook, County Durham, by faithful fans and some who played with him.

The 81-year-old has dementia, but still has vivid memories of his footballing heyday at left-half. He said: “It has been an emotional day and brought back many happy memories. I have been crying, but because I am happy. I think that it is lovely.”

Allan had a trial at Blackpool when Stanley Matthews was still there, but after breaking a leg joined Crook Town for the 1960-61 season and went on to make 337 appearances for the club.

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A “whole-hearted player”, he won the Amateur Cup twice with Crook Town – scoring the winning goal in the 1964 Amateur Cup Final and he was also a League Cup winner 60-61 and a League winner 62-63.

Lifelong fan John Phelan, who was among the 37,000 fans at Wembley in 1964, said: “We played Enfield, who were a strong team. They lost their keeper with a broken wrist early in the game but scored the first goal and were one nil up at half time.

“In the second half Allan Brown crossed for Goodfellow to equalise and then Allan hit the winner himself after a great dribble and run down the right by Bill Roughley.”

The team were feted as heroes on their return to Crook, with fans packed into the grounds.

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John said: “He was a Northern League player, but he could easily have played professional football.”

His wife, Ann, 77, said: “This is a last chance for him to visit. It is exceptional that they have done this.

“The event was organised by activity staff at the Redworth House Care Home in Shildon, where Allan is a resident. I can’t thank them enough.”

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She recalled fondly how on their wedding day Allan went straight from the service to play a semi-final match against Barnet at St James’ Park in Newcastle, on March 28, 1964.

She said: “I got married at noon and there was a car waiting outside for him ... I think they went at 1.45pm. So we got to cut the cake and had the toasts before he left.

“My dad and Allan’s dad were really sulking, because the wives wouldn’t let them go and they held the fort. To me it didn’t matter.

“I waited until he got back at 7pm and we set off for Blackpool. Football was his life. Northern League football was really big at the time. There was always a strong rivalry with Bishop Auckland.”

Hazel Hill, head of activities at Redworth House Care Home, said: “It was interest in the European Championships that led to the visit. We heard his family had posted a clip of when Allan played at Wembley. He came to life when he saw it, recalling the different men he played with.

“It spurred that much of a reaction in him that I felt I had to get him back, so made contact with the club.”

The Northern Echo: Allan Brown with Hazel Hill of Redworth House Care Home Allan Brown with Hazel Hill of Redworth House Care Home

Club chairman Vince Kirkup, presented Allan with a scarf and hat in his beloved black and amber colours and unveiled a picnic bench in his honour.

He said: “We are over the moon seeing Allan here today. He is Crook Town royalty to us.

“He was a great player and always a gentleman.”