Frank Hill

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For other people named Frank Hill, see Frank Hill (disambiguation).
Frank Hill
Personal information
Full name Frank Robert Hill
Date of birth (1906-05-21)21 May 1906
Place of birth Forfar, Scotland
Date of death 26 August 1993(1993-08-26)[1] (aged 87)
Place of death California, USA
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Half-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1924–1928 Forfar Athletic
1928–1932 Aberdeen 98 (9)
1932–1936 Arsenal 76 (3)
1936–1937 Blackpool 45 (8)
1937–1939 Southampton 51 (3)
1944–1948 Crewe Alexandra 20 (0)
National team
1930–1931 Scotland 3 (0)
1930 Scottish League XI[2] 1 (0)
Teams managed
1944–1948 Crewe Alexandra (Player-manager)
1948–1954 Burnley
1954–1956 Preston North End
1958–1961 Notts County
1961–1965 Charlton Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Frank Robert Hill (21 May 1906 – 26 August 1993) was a Scottish football player and manager.

Playing career[edit]

Forfar and Aberdeen[edit]

Hill was born in Forfar and started his career at Forfar Athletic, joining the club in 1924. He moved to Aberdeen in 1928 and played over 100 Scottish First Division matches. A right-half (which was more or less the equivalent of a defensive midfield position), Hill earned the nickname "Tiger" for his "tigerish" tackling. During his four years at Aberdeen, he also won three caps for Scotland (between 1930 and 1931).

Hill left Aberdeen under something of a cloud, being one of five players dropped by manager Paddy Travers in November 1931. At the time, the reasons were not clear, but the club's official history claims that several players had been involved in a betting scandal. No players were ever charged with any offence, but none of them ever played for Aberdeen again.[3] Hill had played a total of 106 times for Aberdeen, scoring 10 goals.[4]

Arsenal[edit]

In 1932 he was signed by Herbert Chapman's Arsenal, who had just finished runners-up in both the First Division and FA Cup. He made his debut against Blackburn Rovers on 15 October 1932. Although Arsenal were spoilt for choice for wing-halves (he had to compete for a place with Charlie Jones, Bob John, Wilf Copping and Jack Crayston), "Tiger" Hill still featured heavily in all three of Arsenal's hat-trick of League titles (1932–33, 1933–34 and 1934–35), earning winner's medals for each, as well as the 1933–34 Charity Shield; Hill usually played at right half but also ably deputised at left half or even on the wing.

Hill was squeezed out of the side by Copping and Crayston, and only featured in ten matches in 1935–36 and did not play in Arsenal's FA Cup final victory that season. He requested a transfer and was duly sold to Second Division Blackpool in the summer of 1936. In all he played 81 games for Arsenal, scoring four goals.[5]

Blackpool[edit]

Hill captained Blackpool in the 1936–37 season, helping them win runners-up spot and thus promotion to the First Division. However he didn't stay in the top flight for long; in September 1937 he moved back to Second Division football, joining Southampton.

Southampton[edit]

In May 1937, Hill was recruited by Tom Parker to join Southampton as part of his drive to strengthen the team in an attempt to gain promotion from the Second Division, along with David Affleck (from Clapton Orient), Billy Bevis (from Portsmouth) and Ray Parkin (from Middlesbrough). Southampton paid £2000 for his services and acquired "a half-back with a strong personality and ball-winning abilities".[6] Frank's resolve and leadership helped steer Saints away from relegation during 1937–38, only for him to suffer a series of injuries the following season which sidelined him for long periods.

He eventually fell out with the Board of Directors when it was revealed that he had secretly applied for various managerial positions and he left the club in 1939 to take up a position as assistant trainer at Preston North End, although Southampton refused to release his player registration until 1943. He made 53 appearances for Southampton, scoring three goals.

During the Second World War, when football was suspended, Hill served in the Royal Air Force in India.

Managerial career[edit]

Hill returned to Britain in 1944 and became player-manager of Crewe Alexandra, playing until he was 42. He then became manager of Burnley (1948–1954), then Preston North End (1954–1956).

He then moved abroad in January 1957, coaching the Iraqi military team, before returning to take over at Notts County in 1958. He helped County to promotion to the Third Division in 1959–60, and moved to Charlton Athletic, who were bottom of the Second Division, in 1961. He saved Charlton from relegation that season and took them to fourth in 1963–64. However, he could not make the good form last and was sacked in the summer of 1965.

Hill finished his career as a scout for Manchester City, before retiring. He moved with his wife Doris and son David to Lafayette, California, USA in 1967 where they owned "Piccadilly Circus Fish'n Chips" and he refereed locally at the college level well into his 70s.

He died in California in August 1993, aged 87.

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Arsenal
Blackpool

As a manager[edit]

Notts County

References[edit]

  1. ^ US Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ http://www.londonhearts.com/SFL/players/frankhill.html
  3. ^ Webster, Jack (2003). The First 100 Years of The Dons: the official history of Aberdeen Football Club 1903 - 2003. Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 128–131. ISBN 0-340-82344-5. 
  4. ^ Smith, Paul (2007). The Legends of Aberdeen. Breedon Books. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-85983-575-3. 
  5. ^ Harris, Jeff & Hogg, Tony (ed.) (1995). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4. 
  6. ^ Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 165–166. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 

External links[edit]