FORMER Wodonga and Wangaratta footballer Neil Brown has died at the age of 62.
Brown, who was also an A grade cricket premiership player with Wodonga, lost his battle with multiple myeloma this week.
His funeral will be held today at 1pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
After his junior sporting years in Wodonga, he played two senior matches for North Melbourne in 1972 when studying at a Melbourne teachers’ college.
His two VFL matches involved him striking Melbourne ruckman Peter “Crackers” Keenan in the first and then playing on Carlton great John Nicholls in the second.
The Kangaroos blocked Brown’s bid to join South Melbourne so he played two seasons with VFA club Coburg.
He returned to the North East and had a brief stint with Wangaratta, which included playing in the 1977 losing grand final to arch-rival Wangaratta Rovers.
Brown kicked 125 goals for Wodonga and Wangaratta before he retired in the early 1980s.
The high-point of his cricket career was the 1975-76 premiership for Wodonga under the captaincy of the late Ron Hill, who was also a star footballer for Wodonga.
Brown was a competent swing bowler and aggressive batsman.
After retirement, he performed administrative roles with Wodonga Cricket Club and coached junior teams.
He was the runner for Jeff Gieschen who enjoyed good success as the Bulldogs’ coach and led him to the senior coaching job at Richmond.
Brown was a respected teacher at Leneva, Richmond West, Wangaratta, Wodonga West and St Monica’s schools until retiring in 2012.
He was also part of the district relief teaching staff.
Brown is survived by his wife, Jenny, and children Erin, Leah and Tom and families.