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Padang Brown, George Town, Penang

Padang Brown (aka Padang Dato' Keramat), George Town

Padang Brown, within George Town city centre, is a field bounded by Dato' Keramat Road to the south, Anson Road along its north, Jalan Perak along its west and Jalan Johor to its east. This was reputedly where some of Penang's greatest football players once trained.

Also known as Padang Dato' Keramat, the field was donated by David Brown, one of the richest landowners on the Prince of Wales Island (now Penang Island) in the early 19th. century. A memorial dedicated to him now stands at the corner of Padang Brown next to the Padang Brown Food Court.

Local Penangites would play football here in the evenings, and there is a pasar malam ('night street market' in Malay) that operates here once a week.

History

Padang Brown, George Town, Penang-0

An aerial view of Padang Brown

Padang Brown was named after David Brown, who donated this piece of land. Born in Edinburgh, Brown came to George Town in the footsteps of a fellow Scotsman, James Scott, who was Captain Francis Light's business partner. Brown eventually became one of the richest landowners on the Prince of Wales Island (now Penang Island) in the early 19th. century.

After his passing in the 1820s, the Brown Memorial was erected at the centre of the field. It has since been moved to the northwestern corner of Padang Brown, near the junction between Anson Road and Jalan Perak.

In the past, Padang Brown was the place to watch boria performances, which is a type of musical play unique to Penang.

Between the 1960s and 1970s, during the heyday of Penang's football, some of Penang's best footballers, including the Bakar brothers - Ali and Isa, Desmond David (father of Nicol David), Mohamad Bakar, Shukor Salleh and the Abdullah brothers - Namat and Shaharuddin, trained at the field. These players ultimately formed the core of Penang's state football team, which was then one of the strongest in Malaysia. Padang Brown was chosen as a training field due to its location, which is not far from the City Stadium to the west.

To this day, Padang Brown is still used for football matches, particularly in the evenings.

Other than that, a pasar malam (night street market) operates here once a week.

Brown Memorial and Food Court, Padang Brown, George Town, Penang

Brown Memorial is located at the northwestern corner of Padang Brown, right next to Padang Brown Food Court.

Notable Landmark

Brown Memorial

Food

There are two hawker centres at either side of Padang Brown. Both offer a wide variety of Penang street food.

  • Padang Brown Food Court, located around the northwestern corner of the field, is the more popular one. It reputedly serves some of the more delicious street fare in the area. Among the more recommended dishes to try here are popiah, rojak, oh chien and yong tau foo.
  • Padang Brown Jalan Johor Hawker Centre, located around the eastern side of the field bounded by Jalan Johor, is not as well-known as the former. However, char kuey teow here comes highly recommended.

References

  1. Cheah J. S., 2013. Penang 500 Early Postcards. Editions Didier Millet.
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/padang-brown.htm
  3. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/community/2013/11/30/no-simple-main-road-the-history-of-dato-keramat-road-is-peppered-with-the-stories-of-giant-personal/
  4. http://ssquah.blogspot.my/2013/02/penang-hawker-food-update-2013.html

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