Frank Handford

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Frank Handford
F. G. Handford, England International Rugby Union Player.jpg
Full name Frank Gordon Handford
Date of birth September 1884
Place of birth Eccles, Lancashire[1]
Date of death unknown
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)[2]
Weight 168 lb (76 kg)[2]
School The Leys School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Apps (points)
1909 onwards
Manchester Football Club
National team(s)
Years Club / team Apps (points)
United KingdomBritish Isles

Frank Handford was an English rugby union international who played on four occasions for his country and was part of the first official British Isles team that toured South Africa in 1910.

Early life[edit]

Frank Gordon Handford was born in 1884 in Eccles, Lancashire, the son of Joseph Handford, a tea merchant who hailed from Stockport, Cheshire, and his second wife Annie Elizabeth Walker of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England whom he married in 1882. Frank had a number of older siblings from hisn father's first marriage. He lived in Barton upon Irwell before he went to The Leys School[3] in Cambridge as a boarder.[1] In 1906 he enrolled for an agricultural course at the Aspatria Agricultural College, where after two years of theoretical and practical study he left with an award of the Diploma of the College.[4]

Rugby career[edit]

Handford played for Aspartria during the 1906/7/8 seasons and for Kersal Football Club (which would later become Altrincham Kersal RFC) in the 1908/09 season and was shown in the Fixture Card as Vice-Captain for the season.[5] He later moved on to Manchester Football Club (later renamed Manchester Rugby Club).[6] He was a stalwart of the Lancashire County side playing from 1906 through till the return season of 1918 after the Great War. During his period of study at the Aspatria Agricultural College he played Rugby Union for Cumberland County on four occasions.[7]

Handford made his Test debut for England vs Wales at Cardiff on 16 January 1909. He played in a further 3 matches for his country in that Five Nations championship. His last Test for England was a Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Richmond on 20 March 1909.[8] In 1910 he was selected for the first official British tour to South Africa (in that it was sanctioned and selected by the four Home Nations official governing bodies). He played on all three tests.

First World War[edit]

He served in the Cheshire Yeomanry, Machine Gun Corps during the First World War rising to the rank of sergeant.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On 11 November 1915 Frank Handford married Mildred Honor Fiddy in Great Yarmouth. Perhaps due to his earlier Lions Tour in 1910, he is recorded as having emigrated to South Africa at some time after 1919.


  1. ^ a b Class: RG13; Piece: 1532; Folio: 153; Page: 4. Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1901.
  2. ^ a b WW1 Military Record of Frank Gordon Handford
  3. ^ Football: The Rugby Union Game - Page 30, by Francis Marshall, Leonard R. Tosswill
  4. ^ The West Cumberland Times, 27 July 1907
  5. ^ History of AKRFC
  6. ^ History of Manchester Rugby Club
  7. ^ Aspatria: The History of a Rugby Union Football Club, Terry Carrick, Nottingham 1995
  8. ^ Profile on ESPN
  9. ^ [British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914–1920]