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Kidderminster appoint ex-Derby, Hull, Preston, Southend, Swindon, Barrow, Bolton boss

Kidderminster Harriers appoint ex-Derby, Hull, Preston, Southend, Swindon, Barrow, Bolton boss Phil Brown to replace the axed Russ Penn.

Brown’s last job was at League Two club Barrow who at the time of his appointment Barrow were just six points clear of the relegation zone with the team placed in 21st having played a game less.

He managed to keep Barrow up for another season, negotiations on Brown taking on the role on a permanent basis were unsuccessful, leading to his exit.

The 64 year old now joins Kidderminster, who currently sit 24th (bottom) in their first season back in the National League table with 20 points from 28 games and are 7 points from safety.


Harriers are proud to confirm the appointment of Phil Brown as Manager, initially until the end of the current season.

This landmark appointment for the Club sees the arrival to Aggborough of a vastly experienced and decorated Manager in Brown, who has overseen close to 600 in the dugout and managed at the highest level of the game.

Across two decades as a player, he made over 650 appearances for the likes of Hartlepool and Bolton Wanderers before transitioning into management, notably with Hull City. In four years with the Tigers he helped them achieve a first ever promotion to the Premier League.

Brown has also guided Southend to promotion to League One, and successfully steered Barrow to safety in the EFL in 2022. His managerial career to-date has also included spells with Preston and Swindon Town.

Harriers Technical Director Dean Holdsworth said: “This is a significant appointment for us as a Club and shows the Chairman and Club’s ambition. We needed to be clear about the Club’s situation right now, but also the ambition for the future, and act accordingly to both. First is the next 18 games, and then we’ll reflect on where we are and what’s required going forward.

“Phil Brown is someone who has a proven track record of delivering against the odds when required. With the loyal support we have had from fans so far, through a tough time, performances and results will improve and we can get smiles on faces.

“His experience and contacts, along with his high standards will add to the strong foundations of the good squad and experienced players with have with us, and platform established here by Russ Penn and Jimmy O’Connor.

“Of the many, many excellent applications we had for the post – and we thank them for their interest – we can’t think of anyone better than Phil to lead that charge.”

On becoming Harriers Manager, Phil Brown said: “I was immediately drawn to the passion that the Chairman and Board of Kidderminster have for their club, and their desire to succeed.

“There’s no getting away from the fact we are in a battle, but the picture is clear in terms of what we want to try and achieve, and it’s a challenge I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into.”

Phil Brown will take charge of team affairs after the game with Altrincham at Aggborough on Saturday. Jimmy O’Connor will oversee the set-up of the team for the FA Trophy tie for which Brown will be in attendance.

Tickets for the match are on sale now.

On Russ Penn’s exit: Kidderminster Harriers can confirm that the Club and Manager Russ Penn have parted company with immediate effect.

Chairman Richard Lane said: “I want to place on record the thanks of everyone associated with our club to Russ for his tremendous effort and dedication over the last few years and the incredible memories we will all keep with us.

“This is a difficult decision to have taken but one we feel is necessary in our current circumstances. Nonetheless, Russ leaves us with our full respect and will always be welcome at Kidderminster Harriers.”

This is how fans reacted as Kidderminster appoint the ex-Derby, Hull, Preston, Southend, Swindon, Barrow, Bolton boss…

@ShrimpersTalk: Oh Christ good luck

@TomRoss_: Vanarama Banter League.

@DanielT171284: Where did this one come from?

@NotNotlynnfan1: how the fuck is he still getting jobs

@ccfcfan: The most random managerial appointment ever 😂

@rivv_dw17: What a shocking fucking appointment 😭😭

@JPWard: Someone gotta be doing a Bullard celebration in Kidderminster 😁😂😅🤣

@Villa_Nik: Blimey. Now that is a surprise. Best of luck Phil. #khfc

@ShrimpersTalk: Good luck 😐

@jamiemac198: This is so strange don’t even know what to make of it…

@sufc_Tom16: Experience yes…. Non-league experience…. Not really 😂

@MarkAbel_28: You would have been far better off with Russ Penn.

@KrasnyiDJW: He’s here initially until the end of the season. Whoever we appointed some people would still be unconvinced. Only one thing to do: get behind Phil Brown and the squad. Let’s give it a bloody go!

@MattKing_15: How’ve you pulled this off then lads

@JackRoseworc: Interesting appointment. Definitely will add shape and order to the squad.

@GreggForrester: Kept Barrow in the league last season 👍🏽 good appointment!

@LewisKnt9: Kept us up when we were down and out. All the best Phil legend

@dubd4n: Wow! Massive. Good luck!!!

@TravisKHFC: Phil browns tricky reds

@Puds5ie: Well he’s out of work so I guess he’s cheap. Not exactly a progressive appointment but certainly experienced. No more appearances on Fighting Talk for a while then.

@jimbalor: Not a fan. 64 years old and hardly a fantastic CV in recent years. Hasn’t worked in 18 months. With that said it could be far, far worse. And prefer it to sticking with Russ. Also may be a case of preferred choice isn’t available till the summer.

@benshhhhh: fantastic appointment – credit to the club for the speed it was done with too 👏🏼

@Dannyboy6481: Jimmy Bullard as no2

@ColinJJordan: Great work by the chairman acting this quick to get a new guy in. Use the trophy as a chance to look at the team. Maybe bring Kobe back into the squad too

@Jono_SHJ: Not sure what to make of this. Be surprised if he’s here beyond this season. He’ll be able to fix the hand dryers in the bogs too. “Brown is a trained electrician, and put his trade to use by carrying out electrical work at Southend’s training ground.”

@Scruffydog82: I wish Phil all the best and will get behind the team, but I feel massively underwhelmed by this appointment.

@Harriersofkiddy: Not sure how to feel about this. Open minded to him and wish him all the luck as he is going to need it. But his record isn’t fantastic and a premier league manager does not make a national league manager

@RonanMacca99: Hahahahahaha, how’s he manage to bag another club then.

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