Frank Richards (football manager)
Frank Richards (9 July 1869 -30 August 1944) was an English football manager and administrator. He served as secretary-manager of Birmingham, Preston North End and Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic and later, in the 1930s his son Sam became secretary and then joined the board of directors at Birmingham at the outbreak of war.
Born in Amblecote, Richards worked in the Jewellery Quarter of the city before joining the St Andrew's office staff in 1907. He was appointed club secretary in 1910 and took over responsibility for team affairs in 1915 when the Football League was suspended because of the First World War. He signed a number of players who went on to give excellent service to Birmingham, including record goalscorer Joe Bradford, playmaker Johnny Crosbie, future manager George Liddell and England international goalkeeper Dan Tremelling; those four between them made over 1,500 Football League appearances for the club. In 1920–21 he led Birmingham to the championship of the Second Division. Birmingham failed to enter the FA Cup in 1921–22 because Richards forgot to send in the forms; the Football Association proved impervious to appeals for clemency. In 1923, after two years in the top flight he handed over responsibility for playing matters to former player Billy Beer, remaining as club secretary for a further two years.
In May 1925 he became secretary-manager of Preston North End. He took with him Birmingham player Harry Hampton as coach, and was responsible for bringing Alex James to the club. He held the post for two seasons. For two years from June 1928 he was secretary-manager of Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic. He died in Birmingham in 1944 at the age of 75.
- Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 14–15, 60. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
- Matthews, Tony (October 2000). The Encyclopedia of Birmingham City Football Club 1875~2000. Cradley Heath: Britespot. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-9539288-0-4.
- "Frank Richards: Preston North End". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
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