United fans can bid a fond farewell to one of our greatest servants, who leaves with pride following a 15 year career as a Red. Brown has been one of the most unfortunate members of our first team, but can hold his head high in the knowledge that he will be remembered and heartily received by all who recall his robust, no nonsense style of play in his time at Manchester United.
My fondest Wes Brown memory is one I got to relive recently. Last season, when Chicarito scored his now infamous “back-header” against Stoke, my first thoughts were, “That’s a bit like the goal Wes Brown scored against Liverpool before Mascherano-gate,” and thanks to the wonders modern that is YouTube, I soon found myself watching most of one of my favorite United performances against Liverpool!
Back in present day, Brown’s move leaves me ever more aware of his misfortune. Once a prize defender, many forget there was a time Brown was Rio’s choice partner in crime. Vidic’s arrival synced up with another Brown injury and Rio and Nemanja’s partnership kept Wes out of the starting line up. But far from being disheartened, Brown bounced back and in turn took Gary Neville’s place at right back and has only recently been usurped by the emergence of the twins who look to have locked down the spot between them.
Brown’s injury sheet must give Kieran “I bruise like a peach” Dyer, a run for his money, but how often did we see the Manc born and bred defender bounce back, fight for his place an earn accolades for performances? The highest being Fergie’s laud that Brown is United’s most naturally talented defender. Fergie has once again chipped in, saying,
“It’s always the hardest of decisions to let loyal servants go. But life moves on and, unquestionably, Wes will get the chance to make a real contribution to Steve Bruce’s Sunderland and I’m delighted to be passing him into such good hands. Everyone connected with United wishes him a long and happy stay at Sunderland.”
A quick scan of Brown’s medal collection – 5 Premier League, 2 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 2 Champions League and 4 Community Shields – shows the vast void some lucky up and comer is going to have to fill in the coming seasons.
And with the news that Sunderland are hoping to score a United hat-trick by adding Gibson to their ranks alongside Brown and O’Shea, the way is paved for someone to stand up and be counted to fill those boots as diligently, patiently and stubbornly as Wes Brown.