Alan Brazil

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Alan Brazil
Personal information
Full name Alan Bernard Brazil[1]
Date of birth (1959-06-15) 15 June 1959 (age 64)
Place of birth Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
Celtic Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1983 Ipswich Town 154 (70)
1978Detroit Express (loan) 10 (9)
1983–1984 Tottenham Hotspur 31 (9)
1984–1986 Manchester United 31 (8)
1986 Coventry City 15 (2)
1986 Queens Park Rangers 4 (1)
1987 Witham Town 25 (10)
1988 Wollongong City 12 (4)
1988 Chelmsford City 7 (3)
1988–1989 FC Baden 6 (4)
1989–1990 Stambridge United
Felixstowe Town
1991 Wivenhoe Town 1 (1)
Total 307 (120)
International career
1979–1981 Scotland U21 8 (1)
1980–1983 Scotland 13 (1)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Alan Bernard Brazil (born 15 June 1959) is a Scottish broadcaster and former footballer who played as a forward. He most notably played for Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, and represented Scotland in international football. He was forced to retire due to a recurring back injury, and then moved into media presentation. He initially worked on television, before moving over to radio where he has for many years been a presenter on Talksport.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Born in 1959 in the Govan district of Glasgow,[2] Brazil started his career in England with Ipswich Town in 1977, where he stayed until 1983, appearing a total of 210 times and scoring 80 goals. In 1978, he was loaned to the Detroit Express in the North American Soccer League, appearing in 21 regular season games and 3 playoff games, scoring 10 goals in total. He made his Ipswich debut in a league match against Manchester United on 14 January 1978, and also contributed to their victorious 1977–78 FA Cup run when he played against Bristol Rovers in the fifth round replay.[3] However, he was left out of the squad for the final itself.

Brazil was a key player by the 1980–81 season, when they won the UEFA Cup and finished runners-up in the league. Ipswich finished runners-up once more the following season, when Brazil scored 22 goals, making him the second-highest scorer in the First Division after Kevin Keegan, who scored 26 for Southampton.[4] One of his finest games in an Ipswich shirt came on 16 February 1982, when he scored all of their goals in a 5–2 league win over Southampton.[5]

Brazil moved to Tottenham Hotspur in March 1983 for £425,000, scoring six times in 10 appearances. In his only full season at White Hart Lane he scored three goals in 19 games, while his fellow Scot Steve Archibald scored 21 times.[6] Tottenham won the UEFA Cup and Brazil scored four goals during their cup run, however he was not part of the squad for the final.[7] In June 1984 Brazil joined Manchester United for a fee of £625,000. He stayed with United for two seasons, but a recurring back injury restricted him to a total of 41 appearances in the league, the League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup. Competition for places at Old Trafford was very fierce, with Irish International Frank Stapleton, Mark Hughes and (initially, before his move into midfield) Norman Whiteside all in contention. Brazil scored 16 goals during his 18 months with Manchester United, but by the time his second season got underway, he was no longer a regular member of the first team, with most his final appearances for the club coming as a substitute.

In January 1986, he was transferred to Coventry City as part of the deal that sent Terry Gibson to Old Trafford. He made 15 league appearances, scoring twice, and was given a free transfer at the end of the season, with his back problems becoming more evident. Joining Queens Park Rangers, he made a total of four appearances, scoring once (the winner against Blackburn in the FA Cup), and went on to play for Bury Town, Chelmsford City and Stambridge United.[8][9] Brazil left British football in 1988 to join Wollongong City (now the South Coast Wolves), a New South Wales-based club in Australia's National Soccer League. He returned to Europe to spend the 1988–89 season with FC Baden of the Swiss Challenge League in the country's second division.[10]

Suffering from a back injury, Brazil's career wound down with stints at Felixstowe Town, Ipswich-based side Achilles and Wivenhoe Town, where Brazil scored on his only appearance for the club in a 2–1 loss against Bromley on 15 October 1991, before rejoining Chelmsford City to play for their reserves.[11] Brazil later played under Garry Hill at Chelmsford Sunday League side Priory Sports, alongside Micky Droy and Paul Parker.[12]

International career[edit]

Brazil made 13 appearances for Scotland,[13] the most notable of which saw him playing in the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals in Spain. He was the youngest member of the Scotland squad at the finals. His debut came against Poland in a friendly in Warsaw on 28 May 1980, which Scotland lost 1–0. His last full international came on 1 June 1983 in a 2–0 Home Championship defeat to England. He scored once for the Scottish national side, in his penultimate appearance on 28 May 1983 in a 2–0 Home Championship win over Wales.[14]

His international appearances were limited as Scotland had a number of other strikers at this time such as Kenny Dalglish, Charlie Nicholas, Mo Johnston, Steve Archibald, Paul Sturrock, Joe Jordan, Frank McAvennie, Davie Dodds, Frank McGarvey and Andy Gray who were preferred to Brazil.

Media career[edit]

Brazil was a sports analyst for breakfast TV station GMTV in its early days. Soon afterwards, he was invited to join Andy Gray in The Boot Room on Sky Sports. When Sky Sports gained rights to the Football League and the Football League Cup, Brazil worked as a studio analyst and, occasionally, as a co-commentator.

He later worked as a co-commentator on matches covered by Anglia TV in the 2001–02 season.

In the late 1990s, Brazil joined radio station Talk Radio UK to present evening sports programming, titled "It's Just Like Watching Brazil". When the station became talkSPORT in early 2000, he became co-presenter on the weekday 6 – 10 am programme. The show has since been renamed the 'Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast'. He has had various co-presenters over the years, including Mike Parry, Graham Beecroft and Ronnie Irani. Since Irani left the show in 2013, there has been a variety of co-presenters including Matt Holland, Ray Parlour, David Ginola, Dominic Cork, Neil Warnock and Brian Moore.

Brazil missed a show in March 2004 and was dismissed by the station, but he was reinstated three weeks later.[15]

While reacting to the death of actor Robin Williams in August 2014, Brazil said on his talkSPORT show that he did not have a lot of sympathy for people who commit suicide as it leaves their families in a "diabolical" situation.[16] Many listeners criticised Brazil for not showing any regard for Williams having suffered from depression.[16] The station apologised for offence caused and said it did not agree with his opinion.[16]

From April 2020 Brazil's role at Talksport was altered with him hosting Talksport Breakfast two days a week on Thursdays and Fridays with Laura Woods becoming host of the show from Monday to Wednesday with a statement from station stressing that Brazil's role at Talksport would be 'expanded'.[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

In the early 1970s, Brazil was subject to abuse at Celtic Boys Club, by Jim Torbett. When Torbett was charged and tried in 1996, Brazil was a witness for the prosecution. Torbett was found guilty on child abuse charges and sentenced to two years in prison.[19]

Having retired from English league football aged 27 due to injury, for several years in the 1990s Brazil ran the Black Adder pub in Ipswich.[20] This business venture failed and Brazil was declared bankrupt.[20]

A fan of horse racing, in 2003 he formed the Alan Brazil Racing Club based at Newmarket near to his home in Suffolk.[21] In 2006 Brazil published a book co-written with Mike Parry called There's an Awful Lot of Bubbly in Brazil.[22] This was followed in 2007 by Both Barrels from Brazil: My War Against the Numpties, again co-written with Parry.[23]

In September 2007, Brazil was arrested near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk on suspicion of drink-driving.[24] He was convicted, banned from driving for 20 months, and given a £750 fine, as well as being ordered to pay £450 compensation to the court.[25]

In 2011, Brazil brought out a range of bar nuts named 'Alan Brazil's Nuts', a play on Brazil nuts. The packages have barcodes readable by smartphones for accessing Talksport-related media. The nuts are produced at an Intersnack factory in Haverhill, Suffolk, with profits going to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Robson, who died from cancer in 2009, was Brazil's manager at Ipswich. The range of salted and dry roasted peanuts were due to be extended to cashews and chilli nuts in 2012.[26]

In 2020, Brazil's autobiography Only Here for a Visit: A Life Lived to the Full was published by Bantam Press.[27]

Career statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ipswich Town 1977–78[28] First Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1978–79[28] First Division 19 9 1 0 0 0 2[a] 0 22 9
1979–80[28] First Division 35 12 1 0 0 0 3[b] 0 39 12
1980–81[28] First Division 35 17 7 0 4 0 12[b] 1 58 18
1981–82[28] First Division 35 22 3 3 3 2 2[b] 0 43 27
1982–83[28] First Division 28 10 0 0 2 0 2[b] 0 32 10
Total 154 70 12 3 9 2 21 1 196 76
Tottenham Hotspur 1982–83[28] First Division 12 6 12 6
1983–84[28] First Division 19 3 1 0 1 0 5[b] 4 26 7
Total 31 9 1 0 1 0 5 4 38 13
Manchester United 1984–85[28] First Division 19 5 1 0 2 3 2[b] 1 24 9
1985–86[28] First Division 11 3 0 0 7[c] 0 0 0 18 3
Total 30 8 1 0 9 3 2 1 42 12
Career total 215 87 14 3 19 5 28 6 276 101
  1. ^ Appearances in European Cup Winners' Cup
  2. ^ a b c d e f Appearances in UEFA Cup
  3. ^ Three appearances in League Cup, four appearances in Football League Super Cup


Ipswich Town

Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United



  1. ^ "Alan Brazil". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  2. ^ "I'd feel sick: Govan-born Bhoys fan with 13 Scotland caps explains why he'd have snubbed Rangers". 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Games played by Alan Brazil in 1977-78". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  4. ^ "First Division Top Scorers - 1981-1982". Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  5. ^ Mannion, Damian (8 March 2012). "Messi, Defoe, Shearer, Cole, Greaves and other five-star performers". TalkSport. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur 1983-1984". Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Season 1983-1984". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Hawkwell Athletic :: Andy S". 11 March 2012. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Home - Stambridge United FC Football Club". Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  10. ^ "alan brazil - fact file".
  11. ^ "Do you remember …………. Alan Brazil?". Memories of a Dragon. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  12. ^ Parker, Paul (2013). Tackles Like a Ferret. Pitch Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 978-1909178434.
  13. ^ Alan Brazil at the Scottish Football Association
  14. ^ "Alan Brazil - Scottish Caps 1980-83 - Scotland". Sporting Heroes.
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (6 April 2004). "Brazil reinstated by TalkSport". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b c Selby, Jenn (12 August 2014). "Robin Williams dead: TalkSport apologises for Alan Brazil after presenter says he has 'no sympathy' for actor following 'suicide'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  17. ^ Cross, John (28 March 2020). "Laura Woods confirmed as talkSPORT's main breakfast show host to replace Alan Brazil". The Mirror. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Breakfast just got bigger on talkSPORT: Laura Woods begins as main host, as Alan Brazil expands role across station". talkSPORT. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  19. ^ Bentham, Martin (18 September 2005). "Child abusers who shame British football". The Observer. UK. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  20. ^ a b Rendall, Jonathan (3 October 2004). "Look who's talking". Observer Sport Monthly. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Newmarket horse racing club – Information, news, tips and bets from Alan". Alan Brazil Racing Club. Archived from the original on 15 June 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
  22. ^ Compton, Berkshire: Highdown Publishing ISBN 1-905156-24-3
  23. ^ Compton, Berkshire: Highdown Publishing ISBN 978-1-905156-41-2
  24. ^ "Alan Brazil on drink-drive charge". The Scotsman. UK.
  25. ^ "Pundit convicted of drink-driving". BBC News. BBC. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Legendary Ipswich Town striker Alan Brazil in nutty venture with Haverhill firm". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  27. ^ London: Bantam Press ISBN 978-1-787634-16-9
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Alan Brazil's career statistics". Football Database. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  29. ^ "Alan Brazil profile". Scottish Football Association. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  30. ^ Pearce, Steve (12 April 2013). "Talbot, Brazil and Stockwell added to roll of honour at Town". Ipswich Town F.C. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
Preceded by talkSPORT breakfast show host

2001–2004 with Mike Parry

Succeeded by
Preceded by talkSPORT breakfast show host

April 2004 – June 2004 with Mike Parry

June 2004 – September 2007 with Graham Beecroft

September 2007 with Ronnie Irani

(2007– with Mike Parry on Mondays)

Succeeded by