HE was a leading light in local football.

Former Eastleigh and Romsey Town manager Malcolm 'Jenner' Brown has died aged 74 following a brave battle with Alzheimer's.

He began his career as a striker with Netley Sports and later played a lead role in Basingstoke Town’s 1971 Hampshire League championship triumph before, in the early 80s, going into management.

Southampton born and bred, he was a regular in the successful Southampton City and Hampshire Boys sides of the day.

Jenner cut his teeth in local youth soccer with Northam Boys before joining Netley Sports, where he stayed for six years and became a regular pick for the number nine shirt in the Hampshire FA representative side.

A carpenter by trade, he was also a prolific rower in his early days, winning numerous trophies with the River Itchen based Coalporters Amateur Rowling Club.

In 1969/70, he moved to Poole Town before a stint at Basingstoke Town, where he achieved instant goal scoring success in the club’s unbeaten championship season.

He made over 250 appearances for Basingstoke in the 70s, helping them win the Hampshire League championship in 1971 and gain entry to the Southern League in the process.

Jenner scored over 100 goals in his five-year stay at the Camrose Ground and was prolific in Basingstoke’s unbeaten Hampshire League title triumph.

At the time, team-mate and former Saints defender Cliff Huxford described Brown as “a very professional player and a good club man” before both departed to join Eastleigh-based AC Delco for the 1977/78 season.

Brown moved to Andover in 1980 before switching to Eastleigh (1981/82) where he linked up with Dave Husbands in a joint managerial role before taking sole control of the then Hampshire League club the following season.

He scored six goals in 35 appearances for the Spitfires in his initial season at Ten Acres before retiring to the dug-out.

Jenner enjoyed spells at Romsey Town, managing the team between 1983 and 1985, during which time they finished in the top half of Hampshire League Division 1.

He had a brief spell with Brockenhurst, but throughout the 1980s gained coaching qualifications and enjoyed a long association with Saints and then Bashley.

Jenner bowed out in a father-and-son managerial combination back at Romsey, taking over the reserves in 2007/8, finishing fourth in the Sydenham Wessex Combination and reaching the Southampton Senior Cup Final at St Mary’s.