(First posted on Facebook on March 11th, 2016)
Full back John Brownlie, was one of the mainstays of the Hibernian team in the early ‘70’s. John was a skilful, over lapping defender in the classic mould. He was first capped by Bobby Brown in his last match as Scotland manager in a one nil defeat to USSR in Moscow in June ’71. Also winning his first and only cap that night was Bobby Watson of Motherwell.
Tommy Docherty would pick John for the friendly against Peru at Hampden in April ’72 and then for the Home international game against Northern Ireland that followed. Both games were won 2 nil. John would also play in that month’s game against England which saw Scotland go down to a single goal defeat at Hampden. The Doc then picked John for two World Cup qualifiers away and at home against Denmark in October and November 1972 respectively. These wins would set Scotland up for qualifying for Munchen ’74. However, just as it seemed that John had begun to cement his place in the Scotland team, fate would then play it’s part within a few months.
By the time of Scotland’s next game in February, Scotland had changed manager with Willie Ormond coming in and John had broken his leg against East Fife in January 1973. It would take over a year for John to recover and to some he was never the same player after this. May ’73 also saw Danny McGrain make his debut for Scotland and his partnership with Sandy Jardine was about to flourish.
Willie Ormond would pick John once more for cap number seven against Romania in December 1975 in an Euro Qualifier at the end of another failed European campaign. However, Danny McGrain was cap number 24 by this point and would prove to be impossible to shift for John.
John would leave Hibs in 1978 and move to Newcastle for a few seasons before spells at Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Berwick and Blyth Spartans. John would also have spells in management in the lower Scottish Leagues.