Frank Froggat

frank-froggat-(2)

Born: 21 March 1898 Sheffield (5ft 9ins, 11st 7lbs – 1921)
Died: 6 March 1944 Sheffield
Debut: 22 October 1921 v Bradford Park Avenue Division Two Home
Last Appearance: 7 September 1927 v Manchester United Division One Away
Total League & Cup Appearances: 96 Goals: 1

Army football
Rose Athletic
Denaby United April 1921
Sheffield Wednesday 13 October 1921 £650
Notts County 18 November 1927 £1000
Chesterfield May 1931
Scarborough August 1934
Manchester North End September 1935

When Frank Froggatt was appointed captain of Wednesday in 1925 he not only became the first Sheffield born player to be given the honour since Tommy Crawshaw but also ended a patient wait that had seen the half back live in the shadow of England International George Wilson for several seasons. In fact Froggatt – who was known to be a fine header of the ball and dour tackler – had been a reserve team regular at Wednesday for over three years since being signed by Bob Brown from Midland League Denaby United in 1921 – his career had started in Attercliffe Alliance League soccer at Rose Athletic. He had made such an impact in his first reserve team game against Worksop Town that Brown gave him an immediate league debut the following Saturday when George Wilson was captaining England against Ireland at Belfast. However it proved only to a taster for Froggatt and he would remain second-choice to his rival until the 1924-5 campaign when the pair vied for the pivotal half back role – Frank actually made several appearances at left half back during that season after converting to the role when his path to first team football was seemingly blocked by Wilson.

Thankfully for Froggatt the Owls sensationally sold George Wilson to minnows Nelson in the summer of 1925 and he grabbed his chance with both hands, being ever present as the Owls walked away with the Second Division Championship. Frank – father of Redfern and uncle of Portsmouth and England attacker Jack – revelled in the No.5 shirt and literally played a pivotal role in that golden season. However Wednesday lost their first three games back in the top-flight and the fifteen goals conceded probably persuaded Bob Brown that a changed was needed immediately. His solution was to move Freddie Kean from right half back to the pivotal role, hand him the captaincy and drop Froggatt! It was a bitter blow to Frank and he played only once more in that season. In the following summer, a possible explanation for that poor early season form came when an operation on his nose cured persistent breathing problems and saw Frank regain all his old stamina and fitness.

Unfortunately Kean was now even more established in the first team than Wilson had previously been and after appearing in just two more first team games ex-Owl Horace Henshall signed Froggatt for his Notts County side. He enjoyed a successful spell in Nottingham, scoring one goal in 118 appearances, and helped his new club to promotion from Division Three (South) in 1931. His final league side proved to be Chesterfield where despite making an initial impact Froggatt eventually lost his place through injury and then to the emerging Allan Sliman. After ending his playing career in non-league football he retired to take employment at Fox’s Steelworks at Stocksbridge in Sheffield. In August 1942, Frank was appointed as a part-time scout by the Owls but sadly within two years he had sadly passed away at the age of only 45, leaving his 19 year-old son Froggatt to continue the footballing dynasty.

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Source: Jason Dickinson
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