Portsmouth community honors the late Roger Brown


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A fearsome presence on the football field, but off the field, we remember Roger Brown’s business acumen and community service.

Brown, a Virginia Sports Hall of Famer and all pro defensive lineman, died last month at the age of 84.

On Tuesday, Brown’s family and friends celebrated his life and career at his namesake bar and restaurant in Portsmouth.

“He loved talking about his family,” said Roger Brown Jr. about his father.

Brown was born in Surry County and raised in Hampton Roads. He went on to attend Maryland State College — now known as Maryland-Eastern Shore. Brown played for the Detroit Lions from 1960-1966 and ended his 10-year career with the Los Angeles Rams.

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Curtis Lyons, who owns and operates Roger Brown’s Restaurant and Bar on High Street in Portsmouth, has known the Brown family for more than 20 years. Lyons and Brown opened the space together in 2000.

“Roger was always a big smiler, he always loved food, drinks, loved people and having a good time. He wanted people to always get along in our community and at our restaurants and he was just about smiling and being happy,” Lyons told 10 On Your Side.

Tuesday’s celebration of life marks a final goodbye to the man friends say overcame many obstacles during his lifetime and continuously gave back to the community.

“He worked with several senators to bring some housing here, he’s been on a dozen organizations for the city,” Lyons stated.

Brown died Sep. 17.

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