Chris Brown has announced his retirement from professional football and lifted the lid on his time at Doncaster Rovers in a new no-holds-barred podcast with Jon Parkin.
The Doncaster-born striker, who enjoyed two successful spells with Rovers, revealed on Episode One of ‘Undr the Cosh’ that an injury-ravaged few years has led to him hanging up his boots at the age of 33.
“Since I left Bury last year I haven’t been doing much really,” said Brown, who was voted Rovers’ Player of the Season in their last season in the Championship (2013/14).
“I think I knew [it was over].
“Some people say ‘it’s come three years too late’. The Blackburn fans especially!
“I think you just know. I’ve been crap basically. Injuries have taken its toll and I think I’m just looking forward to moving forward now.”
Good mates Brown and Parkin, who was also briefly on loan at Doncaster in 2011, launched their new online venture at the weekend, recalling some hilarious tales and anecdotes from their playing careers in a self-deprecating style.
Among those stories is the now infamous tale of Dean Saunders offering up a race horse as a prize to the best trainer at Cantley Park during his time as Rovers boss - and Mickey Walker riding into the training ground on the horse in full silks.
Brown recalls with much fondness his loan spell at the club as a teenager in 2003/4 and also opens up on ‘the experiment’ in 2011/12.
“The strangest atmosphere I’ve seen was when Saunders brought loads of [...],” said Brown. “It was a bit of a strange set-up because Willie McKay was kind of affiliated with the club and there was like an agreement that they’d bring players in, high profile players who were coming to the end of their contracts so they could then sell them on.
“Within a month we had El Hadji Diouf, Chimbonda, Piquionne, Ilunga. Honestly, there was nearly fights in the changing room after every game!”
Reminiscing about his loan stint, Brown said: “Mick McCarthy [Sunderland manager] sent me to Donny. They’d just been promoted from the Conference.
“I signed on the Thursday night, trained Friday morning. I pulled into the training ground, I got out and got my wash bag and there was a couple of lads having a fag. I thought ‘what the f***?’
“It was a massive wake-up call but I loved it. It was just an insight into professional football.
“They looked after me, gave me a b******ing when I needed it and made me into a man basically.”
Undr The Cosh will be released every two weeks on a Sunday night and is available to listen to on iTunes and Soundcloud (Warning: contains strong language).
The second episode, out on March 11, will feature Andy Griffin, another former Rovers loanee.
Brown and Parkin played together at Preston between 2008 and 2011.