Warburton Frank Image 1 Swindon Town 1907

Warburton Frank Image 1 Swindon Town 1907


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Little Bolton, Lancashire born inside left Fred “Frank” Warburton began his football career with Astley Bridge St Paul’s in 1900 and played for Turton in 1901 before joining First Division Bolton Wanderers in February 1903, making his Football League debut, and sole appearance for The Trotters, at Grimsby Town in a Second Division match (Bolton having been relegated in 1902-03) in September the same year. He returned to non league football to play for Turton in 1904 and Brynn Central in 1905, before returning to Football League action with First Division Bury in January 1906.

He scored 5 goals in 8 appearances for The Shakers before the end of the season, but made only 3 further appearances in 1906-07 before joining Southern League Swindon Town in the 1907 close season, scoring 11 goals in 27 appearances for The Robins in 1907-08. Moving to Home Park in the summer of 1908, Warburton was described by the Plymouth Argyle club handbook as “a big fellow … has plenty of dash and takes any amount of stopping”. Despite being a regular first teamer at inside-forward he chose to leave at the end of the 1908-09 campaign after 6 goals in 43 appearances, returning to the North East with Accrington Stanley.

Warburton went on to play for Morecambe before retiring was then persuaded by a friend to try his luck as a football trainer in the Netherlands. He worked for a year with Amsterdamsche FC, before moving on to Hercules Utrecht. His next job was with HVV Den Haag, a position he held until the mid-1930’s, combining the post with that of The Netherlands’ national team coach between 1919 and 1923. In 1920 he led The Netherlands to a bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp. Returning to England in 1935, following a tax dispute with the Dutch authorities, he again became involved with Morecambe, lending his experience to the club until his death in 1948.

Two of his sons, Joe and George, also became professional footballers, George playing League football for Chester.


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