Hemsworth, Yorkshire born right back Frank Taylor began his senior playing career with First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1936, making his Football League debut on 13th March 1937 in a 1-0 win at Chelsea. He played in the same team as his older brother Jack a handful of times, but it was only after his sibling left the club in the summer 1938 that Frank became a first team regular.
Taylor missed just one game of the 1938-39 season that saw Wolves reach the 1939 FA Cup Final, where they lost 4-1 to Portsmouth at Wembley. The abandonment of League football in September 1939 due to the outbreak of World War Two effectively ended Taylor’s playing career after just 57 appearances. Although he turned out in some wartime fixtures for Wolves, he left the club and retired from playing football due to a knee injury in 1944.
In June 1948 Taylor was appointed manager of Scarborough, and then became Major Frank Buckley’s assistant at Hull City, also taking a similar role at Leeds United before becoming Stoke City manager in June 1952. Taylor had the tough task of taking over from the long-serving Bob McGrory who had been at Stoke for 31 years as a player and manager. The first act Taylor did was to erect a sign above the players dressing room which read: Are you 90 minutes fit? It’s the last 20 minutes that count – train for it.
In his first season Stoke were relegated from the First Division after losing their final match of the season. Taylor’s main task now was to gain a return to the top tier but narrowly missed out in 1954-55, 1956-57 and 1958-59, finishing 5th three times. But after an awful 1959-60 campaign which saw Stoke finish in 17th position and in danger of being relegated to the third tier, chairman Albert Henshall decided that Stoke were going backwards and not forwards and so Taylor was sacked in May 1960. This came as a big shock to Taylor who vowed never to become involved with football again.
His older brother Jack Taylor, also a full back, played for Wolves, Norwich City and Hull City, and managed Queen’s Park Rangers and Leeds United.