After losing the 1982 Grand Final to Parramatta the Sea Eagles went on a massive rebuilding campaign. Club legend Bob Fulton was enticed back to the fold from his Eastern Suburbs sabbatical.
Bozo brought with him numerous Rooster stars, including Kerry Boustead, Noel Cleal, Ian Schubert, Ian Barkley and Dave Brown, a big prop forwarded who played 9 State of Origins and 5 tests for Australia.
Dave Brown originally came from Souths in Brisbane and was a proud Queenslander, this pride clearly shone when Brown played for the maroons in the State of Origin. Manly fans were licking their lips about Brown playing in the Sea Eagles Maroon & White after seeing Brown skittle the NSW pack in the 1982 Origins series.
Despite the promise, Brown never really set Brookvale Oval on fire during 1983, although this was one of the clubs most successful non premiership seasons. He actually spent some time in Reserve Grade, despite his representative credentials, so strong was the Manly team of that era.
Things went from bad to worse in 1984 for the big fella and his form was nothing short of disgraceful. He had the pace of a 3 leg donkey and the heart the size of a peanut. It was grand sight from the hill looking at big Dave roll up to the defensive line and fall into the opposition defenders. I think they would have been more worried about getting squashed by him rather than him steaming through their tackles at pace.
However come State of Origin in May/June, Brown seemed to be transformed from a powder puff into a Sherman Tank when he pulled on the Queensland jumper. He again starred for the Cane Toads, this transformation amazed even the most strident Manly fans.
Upon his return to the Manly reserve grade side and we again were forced to witness more of feeble efforts by Dave, many a wag on the hill were heard yell out a few cat and puss calls. Suffice to say he never really endeared himself to the fans.
After 32 games and 2 tries he was shown the door at the end of 1984 and he returned to the Roosters in 1985, much to the relief of many Manly fans. I recall he might have spent some time in the Brisbane competition before heading to Perth to take up a coaching role. To be honest I dont think Perth is far enough away from Brookvale for this lazy lump of lard.