BREAKING: Ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown dies 25 years on from taking nation to World Cup

 Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has died a quarter-of-a-century after taking his country to the World Cup finals, with floods of tributes pouring in for the national icon

📷 Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has died at 82 (Image: PA)

Tributes have poured in for former Scotland manager Craig Brown after it was confirmed the 82-year-old has died.

Brown was the last manager to take Scotland to a World Cup finals in 1998, with the country on its longest-ever drought of six missed tournaments since then. His side were handed a tough draw in France 25 years ago, where they lost to Brazil and Morocco, as well as drawing against Norway before a group-stage exit.

The Glasgow native coached Clyde for nine years before managing Scotland's under-21s for an almost identical period. He led the senior national team from 1993 until 2001 and ended his days on the touchline with shorter stints at Preston, Motherwell and Aberdeen.

Brown later took on a non-executive director role at Pittodrie Stadium after retiring from coaching, and the club was among the first to pay homage to a beloved figure.

BREAKING: Ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown dies 25 years on from taking nation to World Cup
📷 Brown managed Scotland from 1993 until 2001

"Everyone at Aberdeen FC is heartbroken by the loss of our beloved former manager, director and club ambassador, Craig Brown," read a statement from the Dons. "A dear friend to us all, Craig will be sorely missed and our love and condolences are with his family at this terribly sad time."

Former First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon praised Brown for his contributions to football, tweeting: "So sorry to hear that Craig Brown has died. I last saw him in March at my uncle’s retirement from Ayr Race Course.

"He was in fine form - full of laughs and anecdotes from his life in football. He was an outstanding manager of Scotland and a truly lovely man. RIP."

Brown was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999 for his services to football and was later inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame (2010).

The national icon will have been proud of Scotland's recent run of success under incumbent Steve Clarke, who has steered the country to the brink of automatic qualification for Euro 2024. Clarke's side are eight points clear at the top of their qualifying group and have a 2-0 win over Spain to their credit, potentially able to book their place in next year's finals over the next two fixtures.

More to follow.

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