Barking born centre forward Frank Richardson started his football career with Barking Town in 1920 and was one of a trio of players signed by Plymouth Argyle from Barking Town in June 1921 (Jack Leslie and Alf Rowe being the others). Unlike his colleagues from East London, the centre-foward made an immediate impact; in his first season he was almost ever-present and chalked up an impressive 31 goals. He spent less than two seasons at Home Park, but in that time achieved a historic pair of firsts: the first Argyle player to score a League hat-trick, on his Football League debut away at Bristol Rovers in August 1921, and the first Argyle player to score a FA Cup hat-trick when he scored four at home to Bradford Park Avenue in February 1923. He also scored hat-tricks against Swansea Town and Brentford. Richardson was Argyle’s first truly great goalscorer in League football, and with a better than one-in-two record, it was no surprise when other clubs showed their interest.
He was lured away by First Division Stoke City in March 1923 after 41 goals in 67 Pilgrims appearances, with whom he completed the remainder of the 1922-23 season, scoring 3 times in 14 games for The Potters in a brief spell before returning closer to home with West Ham United in October 1923. He scored only twice in 11 appearances at Upton Park before joining Swindon Town in June 1924. His first season at Swindon featured hat-tricks against Northampton and Merthyr Town, but in 1925-26 he went goal crazy, scoring quadruples in FA Cup ties against Farnham and Sittingbourne and in the League against Bournemouth, and being sold to Reading in February 1926 after 42 goals in 60 appearances, his season goals total rose to 40 with 12 strikes in 13 Reading appearances including another quadruple against Brentford.
He scored 25 goals in 1926-27 including a hat-trick against Oldham in February 1927 and he scored 9 goals in 10 FA Cup ties in a Cup run that saw Reading reach the semi finals being beaten by eventual winners Cardiff City 3-0 at Molineux, before re-joining Swindon Town for a second spell in June 1930 after 55 goals in 103 games at Elm Park. His second spell lasted a single season, his 11 goals taking his Swindon total to 53 goals in 99 appearances, prior moving to Hull City in March 1932, for whom he didn’t make a first team appearance, joining his last club, Mansfield Town in October 1932 again without making the first eleven. He played later that year for Guildford City, and subsequently for H & G Simonds Athletic in 1933 and Reading St Mark’s in 1935 before retirement.