05: Striking a Pose: The Dual Domains of George Brown

Born in London to a diverse heritage—his mother hailing from Serang, Banten, and his father from Bristol—George Brown’s life has been a whirlwind of global moves. His childhood was spent in various cities, from the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the shimmering landscapes of Dubai, following his father's career.

At the age of 13, Brown made a significant move to the UK with his brother to attend high school and pursue his passion for football. His talent on the field earned him a soccer scholarship to a university in the US, where he double-majored in sports management and fashion merchandise. This blend of disciplines foreshadowed his future endeavors.

After graduating, the young athlete returned to Indonesia, a country he had only visited during holidays, to play professional football for Persebaya Surabaya. For the past two years, he has called Indonesia home, making his mark both on and off the field.

Brown’s passion for football began like many young boys, with dreams of becoming a professional player. "I think every young kid wants to be a footballer," he recalls. Encouraged by a competitive environment and inspired by role models, he and his younger brother, who is also a footballer, pushed each other to excel. Growing up in football-obsessed cultures in both England and Indonesia ensured that he was always surrounded by the sport.

The path to professional football was not without its challenges. The athlete faced numerous obstacles, including a significant hip injury that sidelined him for nearly a year. "To transition into a professional from a hip injury which made my movement quite limited was very tough," he admits. Transitioning back to professional play after such an injury required immense determination and resilience. He openly admits that he has never been the most naturally talented player but emphasizes the importance of effort and perseverance. "There are always gonna be people in life that are better than you in whatever you do. But the most important thing is to focus on yourself and control your own effort," he says. His drive to prove doubters wrong has been a powerful motivator throughout his career. "The one thing that keeps me motivated to pursue professional football is the hunger to prove people wrong."

Role models have played a crucial part in his development, both as a player and as a person. Cristiano Ronaldo stands out as a key inspiration due to his relentless work ethic and dedication. "Cristiano because of the sheer effort and hard work that he has put into his career. He has sacrificed everything and still does to this day, being 39 years old and still one of the best. He is a monster," Brown states. Off the field, he admires Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, for his multifaceted talents in music, acting, and production. "Outside of football, I have followed and looked up to Donald Glover because of his many talents. I also want to have many different achievements in my life other than football like him."

Balancing personal goals with team dynamics is a delicate art, and Brown believes in keeping personal ambitions private while contributing maximum effort to the team. He stresses the importance of humility and putting the team first, cautioning against the destructive nature of ego. "I think ego is the enemy. Having a big ego can destroy yourself and hurt the team you are on. So to swallow your pride and subdue your ego when you are competing on a team is the most important thing."

Interestingly, the footballer has also ventured into the modeling industry, a leap that took him out of his comfort zone. Despite his introverted nature, he embraced the opportunity to try something new and different. "I am quite the introverted person so when I got asked to model I was quite hesitant. But I like to be outside my comfort zone and like to try new things," he explains. His sense of fashion, influenced by his background in fashion merchandise, allows him to express himself uniquely both on and off the field. "I take a lot of pride in my appearance and I think if you look good, you end up playing good," he believes.


One of the most challenging moments in his career came during his freshman year in the US. Faced with limited playing time and the threat of losing his scholarship, he had to dig deep and find the confidence to persevere. "My freshman year was a disaster. I only played three times and ended up not even being on the bench for games. I was far from home, low on confidence and it really affected my mental health," he recalls. His determination paid off, leading to a successful college career and reinforcing the importance of self-belief. "The most important thing I have learnt in football is to just be your own biggest fan and believe in yourself even when nobody else does."

In terms of fashion, Brown advocates for individuality and experimentation. He encourages others to step outside their comfort zones and evolve their styles. "I think it is important to be an individual and just wear what you want to wear. Also, sometimes be more experimental and dress outside your comfort zone. This can also help you grow as an individual and increase your confidence," he advises. His own journey in fashion and modeling mirrors his approach to football—embracing challenges and continually striving for personal growth.

Brown’s advice to those starting out in any career path is to believe in oneself, maintain positive self-talk, and be comfortable with isolation and loneliness on the journey to success. "Never talk bad about yourself. Also be comfortable being on your own. When you are working hard on the path of success it becomes very lonely," he reflects. His story is a testament to the power of perseverance, self-belief, and the willingness to embrace new opportunities, both in the realms of sports and fashion.

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