Frank Kopel

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Frank Kopel
Personal information
Full name Frank Kopel[1]
Date of birth (1949-03-28)28 March 1949
Place of birth Falkirk, Scotland
Date of death 16 April 2014(2014-04-16) (aged 65)
Place of death Kirriemuir, Scotland
Height 5 ft 8.5 in (1.74 m)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
1964–1966 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1969 Manchester United 10 (0)
1969–1972 Blackburn Rovers 25 (0)
1972–1982 Dundee United 283 (6)
1982–1984 Arbroath 62 (1)
Teams managed
1982–1983 Arbroath (assistant)
1991–1992 Forfar Athletic (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Frank Kopel (28 March 1949 – 16 April 2014) was a Scottish footballer who played as a left back. Born in Falkirk, he had an 18-year professional football career, during which he played for Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Dundee United and Arbroath. He then went into coaching, becoming assistant manager at Arbroath and Forfar Athletic with a spell on the Dundee United coaching staff in between.


Kopel was born in Falkirk and was a Scottish schoolboy international before signing for Manchester United as a schoolboy in 1964.[2] He turned professional in 1966 and made his debut as a substitute in a 2–2 draw at home to Burnley on 9 September 1967.[3][4] He made his full debut – and his only other appearance for the 1967–68 season – on 28 October 1967, playing at right-back in a 3–1 defeat away to Nottingham Forest.[3][5] Kopel made a further 10 appearances for Manchester United during the 1968–69 season, including his European debut against Anderlecht on 27 November 1968,[3] but he spent most of the season as a back-up to the club's first-choice full-backs, Shay Brennan and Tony Dunne.[2] He was sold to Blackburn Rovers for £25,000 in March 1969,[3] nearly two months after his final appearance for United, a 1–1 draw with Watford in the FA Cup.[3] Kopel had a poor record during his time at Manchester United; out of his 12 appearances, they only won two matches and lost five.[3]

Kopel spent over two years at Blackburn but made little impact and was released in December 1971.[6] He joined Dundee United in January 1972; the first signing made by the club's new manager Jim McLean.[6][7] Kopel would remain at Tannadice for the next ten years, playing nearly 400 first team games, and picking up two League Cup and two Scottish Cup runners-up medals during his time with the Terrors.[7] In 1982 he moved to Arbroath as player/coach, before retiring from playing in 1984. He returned to United to coach and his son, Scott, was an apprentice at Tannadice before making a career at Chesterfield, Brechin City and Forfar Athletic.[8] Kopel has the honour of having a Dundee United Supporters Club named after him, Frank Kopel's Travelling Shindig.[9] In 2011 he was inducted into Dundee United's official Hall of Fame.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Kopel married Amanda in 1969.[10] He was diagnosed as suffering vascular dementia in 2008.[10] He died at age 65 at his home in Kirriemuir on 16 April 2014. He is survived by his wife and their son, Scott.[11]


Dundee United


  1. ^ "Frank Kopel". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Frank Kopel passes away". Man Utd. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Frank Kopel". MUFC Info. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Manchester United 2 Burnley 2 (09/09/1967)". MUFC Info. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Nottingham Forest 3 Manchester United 1 (28/10/1967)". MUFC Info. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Forsyth, Paul (15 December 2013). "Frank Kopel's wife battling for dementia care". The Scotsman. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Frank Kopel". Arab Archive. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dundee United A - Z ( K )". Dundee United FC website. 
  9. ^ "Federation of Dundee United Supporters' Clubs". Dundee United FC. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Forsyth, Paul (15 December 2013). "Frank Kopel's wife battling for dementia care". Scotland on Sunday. Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Dundee United legend Frank Kopel dies

External links[edit]