Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire born winger Frank Broome’s football career started Boxmoor St. John’s in 1932, playing for Berkhamsted Town in 1933 before signing for Aston Villa in November 1934, for whom he made his Football League debut at Portsmouth in April 1935, establishing himself as an Aston Villa regular from March the following year during their relegation season. He scored 29 goals in the 1936-37 campaign with hat-tricks against both Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers in March 1937 and scored another 26 goals in 1937-38 as Aston Villa won the Second Division Championship, with Broome scoring an FA Cup hat-trick against Charlton Athletic in February 1938, and he was part of Villa’s 1938 FA Cup semi final team that lost 2-1 to eventual winners Preston North End at Bramall Lane.
He was awarded his first England cap against Germany in Berlin in May 1938, scoring in a 6-3 victory forever remembered for the England team giving the Nazi salute before the match. In total he scored 3 goals in 7 appearances through to May 1939 but his England career was cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War.
He guested for Nottingham Forest and Wolves during the War playing for them in their 1942 Wartime Cup Final victory. He returned to Villa Park after the War and played 6 FA Cup games in the 1946 competition scoring 6 goals, but after one more League appearance in 1946-47 he was transferred to Derby County for £5,000 in September 1947 after 91 goals in 154 appearances for Villa. His three and a half seasons at The Baseball Ground produced 45 goals in 119 games before he joined Notts County in October 1949, helping them win the Division Three (South) Championship in his first season.
He kept up his impressive ratio with 41 goals in 112 games before signing for Brentford in July 1953 aged 38. A single goal in only 6 games saw him leave London for Crewe Alexandra that October, and at Crewe he struck another 17 goals in 39 games over the next two seasons. In February 1955 he joined Shelbourne and played briefly in the League of Ireland before hanging up his boots.
A career in management followed. He took up a management position as an assistant at Notts County from later on in 1955. He became the club’s acting manager from January to May 1957, returning to assistant until December. He took over as manager and coach at Exeter City the following month. He became Southend United’s manager from May until December 1960, after which he became the manager and coach of New South Wales side Bankstown, from July 1961 until October 1962, heading to Sydney-based Corinthians later in 1962, and became the part-time coach of Melita Eagles, also based in Sydney, early in 1967. He returned to become the manager of Exeter City once again from April 1967 until February 1969 before retiring.
NB This postcard commemorates the infamous “Nazi salute” international between Germany and England in Berlin on 14th May 1938. The match had all the potential for a diplomatic incident. Sir Neville Henderson, the British Ambassador in Germany, had advised the team, through the FA Secretary, Stanley Rous, to give the Nazi salute for the betterment of Anglo-German relations, as a mark of respect, NOT nationalism. The Germans had already decided to respect the English national anthem.
The match was watched by Nazi luminaries such as Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels. Adolf Hitler, up until the day before, was due to be in attendance, but he did not turn up on the day. Before the game, Sproston, during the debate about whether they should salute, famously told Stanley Matthews “I know nowt ’bout politics and t’like. All I knows is football. But t’way I see it, yon ‘Itler fella is an evil little twat”. How right he was! A reluctant England team eventually gave the Nazi salute and they then proceeded to play the Germans off the park, winning 6-3.
The players are:
Vic Woodley (top centre) – Chelsea
Bert Sproston – Leeds United
Eddie Hapgood – Arsenal
Ken Willingham – Huddersfield Town
Alf Young – Huddersfield Town
Don Welsh – Charlton Athletic
Stanley Matthews – Stoke City
Jackie Robinson – Sheffield Wednesday
Frank Broome – Aston Villa
Len Goulden – West Ham United
Cliff Bastin – Arsenal
Jackie Robinson scored twice, with Matthews, Broome, Goulden and Bastin each scoring.