The recent announcement of Mike Brown’s departure from Harlequins at the end of this season has shocked much of the rugby world.
The 35-year-old will join Newcastle Falcons for the 2021/22 season having made his debut for Quins back in 2005 and represented the club almost 350 times.
The former England international expressed his disappointment at not being offered a new contract for the south London club in a recent interview with the Daily Mail, stating that he had no desire to leave.
“I wanted to stay at Quins,” said Brown. “I was completely open with the club. I always wanted to stay and I wanted to finish my career at Quins. I love this club. I will always love this club, irrespective of how things have ended.
“At this stage of my career and life, it makes no sense to move but I was left with no other option. I chased the club for weeks about a new contract and, when they finally brought me in for a meeting, it lasted four minutes.
“Paul Gustard told me I had no future here and I was staring down the barrel of unemployment. I’m 35, with a family to support and I’ve been with Harlequins since I was 18. There was no ‘thanks for your effort, we’ll help you with your future’.
“It was one of the worst feelings of my life. I couldn’t get my head around it. It wasn’t like my legs have gone and I can’t get in the team any more. Earlier that week, Gussy had done an interview on the RugbyPass website saying he wanted to reduce the age of the team. A few days later, I was gone. I never thought it would end that way.
“When you’re pushed to the side and dismissed, you feel like you’re worthless. I went straight to my car, past Scott Baldwin, who could tell I was distraught. I just sat in the car and cried.”
Brown will go down as a true legend of Harlequins and the full back earned 72 caps for England over an 11-year period. The social media reaction to his harsh treatment is below.
— Friends Of The stoop (@QuinsFOTS) April 3, 2021
— Alex Dombrandt (@Alex_dombrandt) April 3, 2021
That Mike Brown story is rough to read. He’s given everything to this club for nearly two decades. I’d only ever seen his future at Quins can’t see why anyone wouldn’t.
— Meg✨ (@_Megstevens) April 4, 2021
A true great of the club, always had time for the fans. Always gave 100% on pitch and will be greatly missed. Would love to be at the Stoop to him the send off he deserves. @mikebrown_15 good luck with your next adventure and thank you for everything you have done for the club. pic.twitter.com/dRjy3uFVM2
— Rhys (@MightyQuins12) April 3, 2021
An honour to play with you Brownie. Loved every minute of it. Thanks for all the help you’ve given to me over the last 4 years, I appreciate it mate. Hope we can finish on a high for you 🙌🏽🃏
— Marcus Smith (@02msmith) April 4, 2021
Quite the exit piece. 4 minutes? This can’t be the right way to treat someone of Mike Brown’s loyalty & lengthy quality. https://t.co/s14nnx1lsY
— Alastair Eykyn (@alastaireykyn) April 3, 2021
Mike Brown’s departure from Harlequins finally announced. Stats tells their own story; 348 appearances and 98 tries. Turns 36 in September and still playing brilliantly. Nothing but admiration for his bloody-minded resolve.
— Owain Jones (@OwainJTJones) April 3, 2021
Just want to say to @mikebrown_15
I’m so sad you have been pushed out of the club we both love. You are showing them (in spades) what we are going to miss next season. Best of luck for the end of this season and next. #ESIAB
— Nicky Green (@Nickyquin) April 3, 2021
This has brought me to tears! The thought of @mikebrown_15 sat in his car crying melts my heart no-end.ADVERTISEMENT
Life is too short on many levels
A rugby career even more so
Too many stories like this come out & I think @mikebrown_15 is right – look out for number one
No one else will https://t.co/5jqrNljGOc
— Sasha (@sashalankshear) April 4, 2021