When Dromore, County Down born left back Tommy Frame joined Linfield on the eve of the 1921-22 season from Ramblers, he could not have imagined what his first campaign in senior football was to bring. No Linfield player appeared more times as the team brought seven trophies back to Windsor Park, losing just once along the way. Frame was rewarded early on at representative level, earning selection for Amateur Ireland against England in November 1921 when they lost 4-1 at Filbert Street, Leicester.
Prior to joining Linfield, Frame had played much of his football at inside-left before proving he was more suited to defence, where he was described as “sturdy and strong [and a] grim tackler”. Although Linfield struggled to reach the heights of the 1921-22 campaign through the remainder of the decade, Frame did appear in another two Irish Cup Finals, winning in 1923 but losing in 1926, collect a total of four Co. Antrim Shield winner’s medals but won just one further Irish League title in 1922-23. He appeared four times for the Irish League between 1922 and 1929 but on each ocassion the team suffered heavy defeats.
In September 1924 Frame was awarded his only cap for Ireland. He was selected to face a touring South African side as the Irish FA decided to select a soley local-based eleven to reduce travelling expenses. The Africans, in what is regarded as their first ever international, recorded a 2-1 win at Solitude despite an early goal from Frank Rushe giving the Irish the lead.