Frank Stokes (footballer)

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Frank Stokes
Personal information
Date of birth (1881-06-07)7 June 1881
Place of birth Burslem, England
Date of death 1945 (aged 63–64)
Playing position Full back
Youth career
Burslem Park
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1898–1901 Burslem Port Vale 67 (0)
1901–1903 Reading
1903–1910 Small Heath / Birmingham 199 (1)
Worcester City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Frank Stokes (7 June 1881 – 1945)[1] was an English professional footballer who played as a full back. He made more than 250 appearances in the Football League playing for Burslem Port Vale and Small Heath / Birmingham between 1898 and 1910. In between these two spells he spent 1901 to 1903 at Reading, and helped the club to finish second in the Southern League in the 1902–03 season. He played in several England trials but was never selected.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Stokes was born in Burslem, Staffordshire.[1] He joined Burslem Port Vale from local side Burslem Park in October 1898.[1] He made his debut on 4 March 1899 in a 4–1 win over Luton Town at the Athletic Ground, and went on to play a further two Second Division games in the 1898–99 season.[1] He became a first team regular in the 1899–1900 campaign, featuring in 32 league and 10 cup games and missing just two league games all season long, he played more matches than any other Vale player. In the 1900–01 season he again played 32 league games, with just two absences across the whole of the season.[1] He signed for Southern League club Reading in the summer of 1901.[1] The "Royals" posted a fifth-place finish in 1901–02, before finishing as runners-up to Southampton in 1902–03.

He then left Elm Park and returned to the Midlands and the Football League in 1903 to sign for Small Heath (later renamed Birmingham). The Daily Express reported that

Reading lose a fine back in Stokes, and his place will be hard to fill. Small Heath have secured him, and he should be of immense service to them in their First League matches.[3]

A muscular yet mobile defender, he formed an excellent full-back pairing with Jack Glover.[2] He went straight into the first team, and played 26 First Division and four FA Cup games in 1903–04. He was an ever-present in the 35 game 1904–05 season, and featured 37 times in the 1905–06 campaign; the club changed its name to Birmingham F.C. in 1905. He played 38 of the club's 39 games in the 1906–07 season, and scored his first goal at Coventry Road on 6 October, in a 2–0 win over Notts County. In the 1907–08 relegation season, the first full season to be played at St Andrew's, he made 29 appearances. He featured in 23 Second Division games in the 1908–09 season and played 21 times in the 1909–10 campaign. In his seven years at the club he made 213 appearances in all competitions, before a serious knee injury forced his retirement.

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Frank Stokes profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Burslem Port Vale 1898–99 Second Division 3 0 0 0 3 0
1899–1900 Second Division 32 0 4 0 36 0
1900–01 Second Division 32 0 1 0 33 0
Total 67 0 5 0 72 0
Birmingham 1903–04 First Division 26 0 4 0 30 0
1904–05 First Division 34 0 1 0 35 0
1905–06 First Division 31 0 6 0 37 0
1906–07 First Division 37 1 1 0 38 1
1907–08 First Division 28 0 1 0 29 0
1908–09 First Division 23 0 0 0 23 0
1909–10 First Division 20 0 1 0 21 0
Total 199 1 14 0 213 1

Honours[edit]

with Reading

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 282. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-010-2. 
  3. ^ "Signing On". Daily Express. 4 May 1903. p. 3.