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Former Reds manager passes away aged 57

7 December 2019

Crawley Town are saddened to hear that our former player-manager Brian Sparrow has died suddenly at the age of 57.

After a career in the Football League which began at Arsenal, for whom he played two top-flight games, and included spells with Wimbledon, Millwall and, most notably, Crystal Palace, for whom he made 73 appearances as a full back, Brian was appointed player-manager of the Reds in May 1991, having joined the club when John Maggs was in charge in July 1990 from Enfield.

He then masterminded what was at the time our greatest run in the FA Cup which culminated in s first ever appearance in the third round against Brighton & Hove Albion in 1992. A few weeks later Brian left the club and was replaced in a caretaker capacity by Maggs. He subsequently returned to Wimbledon as reserve-team manager but later had a very brief spell as caretaker-manager during the 1996-97 season.

Brian remained local, living in Lingfield and managing his village team in the late 1990s. He returned to The People’s Pension Stadium as a guest of the club in 2015 for a reunion of the team that had beaten Northampton Town 4-2 at the start of that memorable FA Cup run and he followed the fortunes of Reds and particularly his beloved Palace.

Everyone at Crawley Town sends their sympathies to Brian’s family at this sad time.

Picture: Brian, far right, with members of his 1991-92 FA Cup team at a reunion in 2015.

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