Brown hoping for Colchester glory

WAYNE Brown aims to help rewrite the record books and round off the most eventful season of his career in spectacular style.The Colchester captain and former Ipswich central defender has already beaten cancer.

By Mel Henderson

WAYNE Brown aims to help rewrite the record books and round off the most eventful season of his career in spectacular style.

The Colchester captain and former Ipswich central defender has already beaten cancer. Now he is desperate to lead his side to an historic promotion.

The U's will clinch a place in the second tier

of English football for the very first time, providing they can collect a point from tomorrow's final game of the season at Yeovil.

If they do, Brown could be back at Portman Road next term with his past and present clubs renewing league rivalry after a 50-year gap.

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Colchester could even clinch the League One title with victory at Huish Park if current leaders and bitter rivals Southend fail to beat in-form Bristol City at Roots Hall.

Brown, 28, said: “Two or three weeks ago the championship didn't look to be an option, but things have changed with Southend dropping a few points.

“We will go to Yeovil and try to win. It is a big opportunity to finish as champions but if we end up nicking a draw we will still have plenty to celebrate.”

It was in December 2002 that Brown, a product of the Ipswich youth system, quit Portman Road to join Watford on a free transfer.

Two years later he was on the move again, this time joining Colchester on loan before completing a permanent deal.

He added: “First and foremost I went to Colchester to play football. In seven years at Ipswich I played 50 games.

“It didn't really work out for me at Watford, either. The manager wanted me to play left-back most of the time.

“As soon as I arrived at Layer Road it all felt very positive. Phil Parkinson is a young, enthusiastic manager, the type you want to play for.

“He brought in new players and I thought we might sneak into the play-offs last year, but our home form let us down massively.

“We have addressed that problem this season and again I was thinking we could make the play-offs, but now we are just one point away from going one better.

“Full credit to the manager. He also has a very good coach in George Williams - the two bounce off each other very well.

“There is a lot of hunger and desire. They kick every ball and they are playing the game on the sidelines.

“The ability to change a game is there, too, whether the manager wants to change the personnel or the system. He's also made some top decisions this season when he's left out influential players and we've still got a result.”

Brown was crowned Colchester's player of the year last weekend, while a much-publicised brush with cancer earlier in the campaign has given him plenty to reflect upon.

He admitted: “When I think back to the time I was told that a mole on top of my head was cancerous - and spreading - I just thank my lucky stars that I'm around today.

“You never know what's around the corner. Something like that really makes you appreciate what you've got.”

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