Brecon, Brecknockshire born centre forward Frank Hoddinott began his football career with Brecon Sports Club in 1912 and joined Southern League club Aberdare Athletic in 1913 but his career was then interrupted as the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915. After the War had finished Hoddinott joined Southern League club Watford in July 1919, making his debut at Northampton Town in September 1919 but he initially struggled to establish a regular first team place, scoring 7 goals in 13 appearances as Watford finished runners up in the Southern League Championship. However when Watford joined The Football League the following year he played in their inaugural League fixture at Queen’s Park Rangers in August 1920 and only missed 3 matches during their first League campaign.
His return of 25 goals in 41 games which left him comfortably Watford’s top goalscorer in 1920-21 caught the attention of the Wales selectors, who capped him twice during the 1921 British Home Championship, his international debut coming that February in a 2-1 defeat to Scotland at Pittodrie, Hoddinott playing the next month in a 0-0 draw with England at Ninian Park, Cardiff.
This impressed First Division club Chelsea enough for them to write out a cheque for £3,500 for his services in June 1921. His two seasons at Chelsea were not as successful, he lost his place in November 1922 and Second Division club Crystal Palace signed him in May 1923 after he scored 4 times in 32 matches for The Pensioners. At Palace he bagged a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Stoke in November 1923, and he enjoyed three more seasons, although they suffered relegation in his second season, but he scored 22 goals in 89 matcheses before returning to Wales to join non league club Rhyl Athletic in July 1926.
His League career wasn’t done yet however, as he joined New Brighton in May 1927, scoring 6 goals in 27 matches during 1927-28, before returning to non league football in the East Midlands, where he subsequently played for and managed Midland League club Newark Town in August 1928, becoming player-manager of Grantham in the summer of 1930 finally joining Ilkeston United in February 1932 as a player before his playing retirement, after which joining Chelmsford City as a coach in mid 1933.
NB the photograph was taken in Chelsea’s match with Oldham Athletic in September 1922. More likely this is Stamford Bridge, in a match Chelsea won 4-0 on 23rd September, Hoddinott scoring Chelsea’s second goal, but it is possibly Boundary Park where Oldham won the return 2-0 a week later. Howard Matthews is the Oldham goalkeeper and played in both matches, it’s probable that Hoddinott outjumps Reg Matthews (indicated on the photograph to be Matthews) and that the other Chelsea forward is Kenny Sharp, but it’s hard to be 100% certain.