Fordingbridge, Hampshire born inside forward Frank Jefferis started with Southern League Southampton in March 1905 signing for The Saints aged 21 from junior hometown club Fordingbridge Turks for a donation of £5. Having been invited for trials, he scored two hat-tricks in trial matches leading to Saints signing him up as a matter of urgency! He made his Southern League debut for The Saints in a 1-1 draw against New Brompton (now Gillingham) at The Dell on 18th November 1905, taking over from Jimmy Soye at inside right.
At Southampton he linked up well with the other forwards such as George Smith, John Bainbridge and John Lewis, as well as showing deft touches on the ball. In 1907-08 he played in all six FA Cup matches as The Saints reached the semi finals, losing to eventual winners Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge. His best seasons were 1908-09 and 1909-10, in each of which he scored 13 goals. and he was selected for the 1910 FA Tour of South Africa and awarded a benefit by Southampton against Manchester City in October 1910. He had scored 48 goals in 184 games for Southampton when he was sold to Everton for £750 in March 1911.
Jefferis made his Football League debut for The Toffees at Blackburn Rovers in April 1911. At Goodison Park he made 137 appearances playing for Everton both sides of the First World War and scored 25 goals over six seasons, winning the League Championship with them in 1914-15, the last season before the advent of War forced the suspension of peacetime football.
He won 2 England caps, having withdrawn from the squad selected to play Ireland in February 1912, he made his debut against Wales in a 2-0 win at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham the next month, and also played 12 days later in a 1-1 draw with Scotland at Hampden Park.
After the War he played 13 more games for Everton before signing for Preston North End for £1,500 in January 1920. He was in Preston’s losing side in the 1922 FA Cup Final, when they were beaten by Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge, and scored 16 goals in 94 appearances before joining Southport in 1923 as player-coach, for whom he scored 6 goals in 56 games through to his retirement in May 1926, whereupon he became Southport’s trainer. He did however turn out, aged 42, twice more for Southport in an injury crisis in 1926-27, scoring once in a 5-1 defeat at Chesterfield in September 1926. He took a similar post at Millwall in May 1936 and died suddenly at their ground two years later aged 53, as reported thus:
“Mr. Frank Jefferis, the Millwall trainer, died suddenly today in the offices of the Millwall FC at New Cross. In his playing career he had assisted Southampton, Everton and Preston North End and was capped for England many times. Jefferis was on the Millwall ground today and was called to the offices by Mr. Hewitt, who, with Mr. Gould, a director, presented the trainer with a cheque in recognition of his work in obtaining promotion for the team. He had just taken the cheque when he put his hands over his eyes and collapsed in the arms of the manager and died.
As a result of his death, tonight’s broadcast on the Millwall Football Club at 6.30 p.m. has been cancelled.”
– The Yorkshire Evening Post, Saturday, 21 May 1938.