–He came running, saying “thank you, thank you!”. And he hugged me and held me up in front of all the boys. It was incredible that, being so young, that happened to me in front of so many television cameras.

– And in what language did I thank you?

“He was telling me in English!” “Thank you! Thank you, my friend! ”, I repeated.

Adam Brown, 25-year-old Scotsman, lived something that not many: Diego Maradona ran to thank him in public. And he raised it with joy, as a sign of celebration. Happened in November 2008. Brown he was a 13-year-old boy; Maradona, the new coach of the Argentine national team, a few hours after its debut. And the anecdote, indelible for the then adolescent, flourishes once again, six months after the departure of the soccer crack, fulfilled this Tuesday.

An unforgettable photo for the then 13-year-old boy: the all-time star and a shirt with his last name on it, which Adam gave him on behalf of his favorite club.

An unforgettable photo for the then 13-year-old boy: the all-time star and a shirt with his last name on it, which Adam gave him on behalf of his favorite club.

Maradona lived 60 years, but the feeling remained that, unlike other mortals, he had a thousand lives in one. And from having multiple lives he distributed a little eternity to many of those who interacted with him, at least for an instant. Thousands of anecdotes emerged from these interactions that maintain and will maintain the legend of the player whose surname was for decades the first reference of Argentina in the world. One of those thousands of verifiable anecdotes is that of Brown, who recorded his eternal moment with the Ten.

It happened in Glasgow twelve and a half years ago, just a few weeks after Maradona was presented by Julio Grondona as the one who had to get those “15 or 20 cents” that the national team had been missing to win a title again. At that time, it was 15 years since the last conquest of the senior national team, the 1993 Copa América Ecuador. Manager of that achievement, Alfio Basile, resigned in 2008 after a defeat against Chile in the tie for South Africa 2010 and was given free rein for Maradona’s return to the national team after that suspension for doping that ejected him from the United States ’94, that World Cup in which, led by Coco himself, they “cut off his legs.” The former 10’s first international commitment was a friendly that Basile was going to face, on November 19 in front of Scotland on Hamden Park. The same rival and the same scenario that, on 3-1 on June 2, 1979, had witnessed Maradona’s first goal with the albiceleste shirt.

Brown, today, with the wool cap that the then Argentine coach gave him as a gift at Hamden Park.

Brown, today, with the wool cap that the then Argentine coach gave him as a gift at Hamden Park.

“I am going to a country where I am adored, because I scored the goal against the English, and the English with the Scots are with a barbarian pike. That’s why they are going to treat us well ”, Maradona was delighted before leaving for the north of Great Britain, where he was not going to count on Lionel Messi for a return of courtesies from AFA to the Barcelona club for having yielded him for the Beijing Olympic Games (medal golden with Sergio Batista as DT). Nor would Juan Román Riquelme travel, who, faced with the DT, would forever desist from going to the selected one. The fact that it was Maradona and not Basile the visiting coach multiplied the expectations for the Scots in the friendly. It was noticed in the massive press that was in Celtic Park and in that all the Celtic club staff were summoned to work in training. Including an unexpected hero Maradona’s first excursion in command of the Albiceleste team.

“I was 13 years old and I was selected in a group of boys to be training ball bouncer. He was delighted with the chance to see players like Tevez, Mascherano, Gago up close. There were big names in that team and Maradona, a football legend, was the coach, “he says. Adam Brown in order to THE NATION. By then, the teenager was done with staying on one side of the field and replacing balls for the Argentine players. In that, a strange episode happened, which would cause an interruption of the selected team’s rehearsal and puzzled looks from those who observed it. “The training was super short, since at one point Fernando Gago stopped the ball with his chest and dropped a medal that was very important to him. That’s why Maradona immediately stopped the practice ”, says the young Scotsman.

That indelible celebration with Maradona (Sky Sports)

You had to find the needle in the haystack: a small silver medal in a field measuring 104.2 by 67.7 meters. To find out as soon as possible and resume training, Maradona asked everyone, even the ball boys, to start looking. “The Celtic field maintenance staff is super professional and so they take care of the field. Imagine their faces seeing a lot of boys step on it … ”, points out Brown. He found the medal, and it didn’t take long. How do i do it? When almost everyone was still disoriented, he was one of the first to understand Maradona’s request, and the luckiest, since when the search began he was very close to Gago’s objective. “Suddenly I saw a shiny, rectangular-shaped object that was two steps away, and it caught my eye. I picked it up, looked at Maradona and asked: “Is this the medal?”

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Bloodthirsty, impulsive, frontal and also affectionate, Maradona went to check the find and give his gratitude to the hero evening at Celtic Park. And then there was that gesture that Adam will never forget: “He came running, saying ‘thank you, thank you!’ And he hugged me and held me up in front of all the boys. It was incredible that, being so young, that happened to me in front of so many television cameras ”.

– And in what language did I thank you?

“He was telling me in English!” “Thank you! Thank you, my friend! ”, I repeated.

All happy: Adam Brown understood he found the missing medal and when he notified the DT, he ran to thank him and lift it up as a celebration.

All happy: Adam Brown understood he found the missing medal and when he notified the DT, he ran to thank him and lift it up as a celebration.

In addition to that “thank you! Thank you my friend!”, Maradona gave him, as a gift, his wool cap with the AFA crest and his gloves. From that moment Adam treasures them in his room, and now he exhibits them in the video call to THE NATION. It also shows a Celtic jersey with Diego’s last name and number 10, similar to the one the club commissioned him to deliver to Maradona 12 years ago. All, unforgettable milestones for a teenager: “I was a very shy boy and I was in front of all the media, but it was incredible that they appointed me as the representative of the club to deliver the shirt to Maradona.”

The day after training at Celtic Park, Argentina won 1-0 with a goal from Maxi Rodríguez. Brown watched the friendly sitting in Hamden Park: the Scottish Federation had given him the ticket. “That was another great experience, as I was able to see very high-level players in a match,” says Adam, who these milestones helped convince him to dedicate himself to football. He made the lower divisions in the biggest club in his country, Celtic, of which he is a fan, but he could not wear that shirt as a professional. He continued his career in another team of the highest category, St. Mirren, and then in promotion clubs: Airdrieonians (third), Alloa Athletic (second) and Stenhousemuir (fourth), with whom he has just signed a contract for the next season.

The memories of Adam Brown and his eternal moment with Maradona;  Today the Scotsman is 25 years old and a professional footballer, in the fourth category of his country.

The memories of Adam Brown and his eternal moment with Maradona; Today the Scotsman is 25 years old and a professional footballer, in the fourth category of his country.

“Knowing Maradona did not imply an accolade for my football career, but everyone recognizes me for that. In fact, every so often a coach reminds me, ”says the midfielder on the left, whose occupation in football part-time, since in their category they train two days a week. Brown spends the remainder of his working time in Glasgow with the Street League, an organization that helps young people find university and job openings.

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Of course, he inherited from previous generations the soccer friendship with Argentina, born in that match of The hand of God and the Goal of the Century. “The Scots really enjoy remembering it because Argentina eliminated England, our longtime rival. I was not born, but I saw images of that match and it is really amazing what Diego did ”, admits Adam admiringly from his home in Cumbernauld, a suburb of Glasgow. Without having witnessed the exploits of Maradona in Mexico ’86 and Italy ’90, he will forever keep his moment with crack.

Adam, at age 13;  In 2021 he kept in his room a copy equal to the Celtic shirt he gave to Maradona on behalf of his club.

Adam, at age 13; In 2021 he kept in his room a copy equal to the Celtic shirt he gave to Maradona on behalf of his club.

That friendly was the beginning of a cycle that garnered 75% of the points in 24 games (18 won 6 six lost) but was marked by the chaotic 4-0 defeat against Germany in South Africa 2010, the end point of the Maradona era. in the selected one. “He was a national hero for the Argentines and I know that it was very important for Maradona to get to lead his team. It was what he wanted, ”says Brown, who, even without the effusiveness of the Albiceleste fan, half a year ago was moved like all soccer fans in the world. “His death was incredibly sad and unexpected. An immense loss for football and for Argentines ”, laments Adam, for whom Maradona’s surname is not only the first reference of Argentina but also a reminder of his eternal anecdote. And a huge privilege: “Not all Scots can say they knew Maradona personally.”



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