Jim Brown

We are sad to announce the passing of former club captain James "Jim" Brown. All our thoughts are with his wife Wendy, his family & friends. Below are some personal tributes and photos - please contact us to add any.

Looking back, sport always played a big part in Jim's life, from his early days at the local Littlehampton Boys School , where he was head boy and captain of the cricket team through to his time in the Air Force when he was a very fine goal keeper (which probably helped his later expertise as an excellent first slip).  However, cricket was his primary love and we would often discuss and remember the 'old days' in the 'original' pavilion at St Floras Road and the people involved then. In fact Jim brought me into the club and I remember keeping wicket for the second eleven, leaping around like a mad thing in an attempt to stop the odd (well a lot actually) wild delivery from Guy Smithers - our best 'quickie' of the time - going for four byes down the leg side!  I was fourteen at the time (around 1960) and in those days you had to know your place and mind your 'Ps and Qs' amongst the older, long standing members -quite right to!  At those times, Jim was always my mentor, my hero if you like, and nothing really changed over the years. He was always there to offer help and support, as he was for other young guys coming through the club. Back then he was my 'Big Brother' and I always looked up to him and  guess over the years that never really changed. 

Maybe my only regret is that we never got to play a round of golf together, that's my game now, even more frustrating than cricket - and I might even have won and got a pint out of the bugger!  I will miss him.

Bill Brown

Jim on the day he was felled by Mrs F. at Petworth Park

“If you look back down the years and recall, if you can,
all the warm temperate times you have had”………

“You may find with surprise; they’re all squeezed
into a headful of thoughts and a handful of summers”……



With the sad news of the passing of a true club legend, James “Jim” Brown, it is with these few lines that I feel we can encapsulate “Jim” in our memories. 


After a long and brave battle, “Jim” was finally given out, and is now sitting back in that great pavilion in the sky; after such a long innings, both as man and boy, I’m certain “Jim” is smiling down on us all, with a glass of the finest red in his hand …..probably a nice ‘Shiraz’ or a ‘Chateauneuf-du-pape’…….he’ll be, I’m sure, watching a game of cricket and talking to a rapt audience.


His love of the game and life came from another time and place…...... the old “days of yore”; where summers were long, dry and hot; cricket was not just a game but a way to socialize between local Hamlets and Villages - teams played hard but fair and afterwards, always with the opposition, they would gather together as friends and would set the worlds to right in the clubhouse or the local pub.


“Jim” came from that time when the love of the game was tempered with that joyous camaraderie of the team collective, and one he stoutly maintained right up till his last days of playing and also which he continued during his long and painful chemo treatment cycles; over the past 18 months, whilst I am sure in great pain, he would drive himself to various North Sussex and Surrey pubs to meet with his old “cricket mates”.


I, for one will miss those evenings, as we all sat for hours together in some country pub talking, eating, drinking, reminiscing, arguing, laughing and listening as “Jim” waxed lyrical about every subject under the sun. In his own words …. “he was a people person” …..


Whilst others will detail his playing career, “Jim” probably has the rare honour of playing for every team we have ever put out, and has always taken the time and effort to bring many of us on through his insightful and thoughtful pointers.


Unknown to many “Jim” also wrote poetry, and whilst I have stolen these few lines from “Houseman” as a personal tribute to him, I’m sure we can all agree, “Jim” will be missed ……….. “Jim” was a friend …..


Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content
I see it shining plain

Those happy highways where I went
And cannot come again


Geoff Cole

Jim was more than a friend to me - he was a "mate" - someone who you could depend upon, to offer help, support and advice. - on the field and off the field. If you had a problem to share, then Jim was always there to help.

I believe that Jim did his National Service at the time of a great deal of unrest in the Middle East and, although he never talked about it, I think he survived some hairy moments fighting in the hills.

When I joined Littlehampton Cricket Club in the mid-1960s he was already a leading player in the Club. Jim was the Club Captain in 1972 and 1973 and his work for the Club was reflected in the award of the Clubman of the Year in 1972. In 1975, Jim had a brilliant season when he took 103 wickets. As an acknowledgement of the impact that his ability and presence had particularly with the encouragement of the younger player, Jim was awarded the 3rd XI Player of the Year in 1997. Jim was still actively playing cricket into the 21st Century and continued playing for the 3rds and 4ths right up to 2015. The last game that he and I played together in the same side was in June 2015 against West Chiltington and Thakeham when he top-scored for the Club for 35 and LCC won by 26 runs. Jim was always a great support to the captains and many a time he gave bits of advice to myself, Tim, Paul and Ian.

Jim was of the old school where, after a game of cricket, you socialised with not only your own side but also the opposition. Many a pint was enjoyed at the George and Dragon at Houghton - the nearest and best to the Amberley Cricket Club where the home games were played. We were always disappointed that after away games , it was usually the two of use who were left in the nearest pub putting the world to right.

I will certainly miss him. I will miss his humour, his strong opinions, his help and support to me and Sue ("young Sue as he called her").

Rest in peace big Jimbo - we'll all share tears enjoying the great memories.

Hugh Milner

We will all miss Jim.  He was a friend, a team mate and above all a top bloke.


I played with Jim for almost twenty years.  His enthusiasm never dimmed.  He was a competitor with a great cricket brain.  I learnt so much from Jim about batting, field placement, captaincy and man management above all.


He scored important runs, took great catches and bowled in his own enigmatic style.  More importantly he encouraged everyone in the team to work together.  He was great advising youngsters whether it was between overs or over a beer at the conclusion of the game.  We all learnt from Jim.


Even in the last few years where his health has diminished and he fought so hard he was advising me on cricket.  I treasure those texts.  I need to put them in a book.


Littlehampton legend is what Jim was.  He will not be forgotten.  


There was always a story with Jim.  The stick story, the catch off the head, the missing bat,  the parties in the pavilion, Aden, the choir boy he was in Lyminster, the metal detector, the coin collector.  


A sad day but lots of great memories.


Ian Birbeck

I first met Jim when I first arrived at Littlehampton CC playing for the 3s. I couldn’t understand why someone would travel down most weekends from Reigate to play for Littlehampton. The more I got to know him the more I understood why. 

He clearly had a rich history playing for Littlehampton and he had clearly experienced some glory days.  In the 3’s in the mid noughtys he always had an encouraging word. He was always delighted to see my offspring , Erin and Callum playing in the thirds and would always give them both his full support, backing and loads of encouragement.

Latterly I was honoured to be part of the gang that would head north to visit him in a country pub to listen to his tales of yesteryear. It was one of those evenings when I made the mistake of saying that I didn’t really understand the attraction of Whiskey.

Encouraged by his partner in crime, yes you Geoff Cole, a never ending supply of various malts were paraded and consumed by me to my cost. I was under the table quite quickly and not for the first time in my LA drinking career ( don’t mention the Cockspur or the visit of Mrs Birbeck sir !!! ).

Then there was “ the stick” incident. It was at Petworth Park with the thirds. I believe I owned one dog at the time, a black Labrador. We were batting and Jimbo and Lloyd Hanks went off on a gentle stroll around the boundary. They were putting the world to right in one of those conversations that only those two could have.

20 yards behind them were me, Mrs Foster and Pepper the dog. Now Petworth Park was awash with fallen branches from the numerous trees surrounding the ground. Mrs F decided to pick up one of these sticks and launch it for the dog to retrieve. The only trouble was that the aim of Mrs F was a bit wayward and she accidentally launched the stick in the direction of Jimbo and Lloyd. It wasn’t a small stick that was flying through the air which appeared to be on collision course with Jimbo. No amount of verbal warning could prevent this log clattering into the back of Jim which felled him like a Canadian Redwood. He was down. There was a stunned silence for half a second only for Jimbo to rise like a phoenix and just laugh. 

Every time I saw Jim after that incident he would always enquire after Mrs F calling her the tree chucker.

Jim will be greatly missed by many. I thank him for his military service, I thank him for his devotion to Littlehampton Cricket Club and most of all I thank him for being a family friend.

RIP big man

Andy Foster