Leigh Leopards are greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Denis Brown, HN#751 aged 75.
Denis was a goal-kicking fullback who signed professional forms for Leigh in 1967 following a successful trial, after impressing with his teenaged displays for the town’s rugby union club.
He was one of the first signings made by Alex Murphy, who had joined Leigh as manager-coach in October 1966 and made his first-team debut in March 1967 under the assumed name of ‘Formby’, kicking three goals in a 15-12 win at Keighley. Future GB international hooker Kevin Ashcroft was another Leigh player on debut that Saturday afternoon, after signing from Rochdale Hornets.
Facing stiff competition from the likes of Tommy Grainey, David Eckersley, Stuart Ferguson and Mick Hogan for the fullback position, Denis nevertheless made 35 appearances over six seasons, kicking 16 goals. His most productive season was in 1969-70 when he played in 16 games, including the 11-2 Lancashire Cup Final defeat at Swinton’s hands. His final game was at Bramley in April 1974.
Denis returned to his old rugby union club as a successful coach of the Colts and first team, contributing hugely to the development of players with his positive, committed and knowledgeable approach which earned him great respect both at Hand Lane and in wider rugby union circles. Leigh Leopards extend sincere condolences to his family and friends.