Norwich City Football Club is delighted to welcome long-serving coach Pete Brown as the Community Hero for our Sky Bet Championship match against Queens Park Rangers, as part of our wider Community Day celebrations.
Pete, 71, has been a community coach with the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF) since 2001.
‘Pistol Pete’, as he is affectionately known, is a popular figure with colleagues and participants alike, and despite being the most senior coach at the charity still continues to inspire and change lives.
A life-long Canaries fan, he first caught Norwich in action in 1958 when he was 11-years-old, and has always managed to follow his team despite not always living in Norfolk.
Following early retirement after a career in finance, Pete decided to take the rather unusual step of training to be a sports coach.
“I was fortunate that my retirement circumstances gave me the opportunity to pursue something I wanted to do," he said. "I’ve always loved football and Norwich City, and to be able to inspire others through the power of the badge was a dream come true.”
He studied for his Level 1 and Level 2 coaching badges, and in February 2001 was given his first assignment at a half-term Soccer School.
He said: “I was given the youngest age group, which was quite daunting for me as the most ‘senior but junior’ coach. But coaching was everything I ever dreamt it would be, and I soon found myself taking on more and more hours of work.
Among those he coached was a five-year-old Angus Gunn.
In 2008, Pete was given the role of being the lead coach on the Foundation’s new Extra Time programme, a weekly sports and social session for over-55s held at Carrow Park.
Over the past decade, Pete has helped many participants stay fit and active through the programme.
He recounts one of his favourite Extra Time stories: “A few years ago, we were playing five-a-side football and the centre-half for one team was a rather frail 83-year-old. She stopped a shot with her wrist, for which she was shown no sympathy from the others (but a rather loud cry for a penalty!).
“The following week she went to the doctor to have her wrist looked at and he said, ‘you may have broken it. How did you do it?’. She replied, ‘I was playing football.’”
CSF Chief Executive Ian Thornton said: “During his time with us, Pete has developed a great rapport with not just our Extra-Timers and our younger participants, but also our staff too. He’s endowed with a quick wit, and is an important role model. I hope he enjoys his moment on the pitch.”
Please give a big Carrow Road welcome to Pete Brown as he brings out the match ball ahead of our Sky Bet Championship game against Queens Park Rangers.