Frank Worthington

Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington.jpeg
Personal information
Full name Frank Stewart Worthington[1]
Date of birth (1948-11-23)23 November 1948[1]
Place of birth Halifax,[1] England
Date of death 22 March 2021(2021-03-22) (aged 72)
Place of death Huddersfield, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1972 Huddersfield Town 171 (41)
1972–1977 Leicester City 210 (72)
1977–1979 Bolton Wanderers 84 (35)
1979Philadelphia Fury (loan) 21 (10)
1979–1982 Birmingham City 75 (29)
1980Mjällby AIF (loan) 12 (4)
1981Tampa Bay Rowdies (loan) 26 (11)
1982 Leeds United 32 (14)
1982–1983 Sunderland 19 (2)
1983–1984 Southampton 34 (4)
1984–1985 Brighton & Hove Albion 31 (7)
1985–1987 Tranmere Rovers 59 (21)
1987 Preston North End 23 (3)
1987–1988 Stockport County 19 (6)
1988 Cape Town Spurs
1988 Chorley 3 (0)
1988–1989 Stalybridge Celtic
1989 Galway United 2 (0)
1989 Weymouth 4 (1)
1989–1990 Radcliffe Borough
1990 Guiseley[3] 20 (7)
1990–1991 Hinckley Town
1991 Cemaes Bay 1 (0)
1991–1992 Halifax Town (player-coach) 0 (0)
Total 846 (267)
National team
1974 England 8 (2)
Teams managed
1985–1987 Tranmere Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Frank Stewart Worthington (23 November 1948 – 22 March 2021) was an English footballer who played as a forward. Worthington was born into a footballing family in Shelf, near Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire. Both of his parents had played the game[4] and his two older brothers, Dave and Bob, became professional footballers, both began their careers with Halifax Town.[5] His nephew Gary was also a professional footballer.[6]

Club career

Worthington began his career as a forward for Huddersfield Town in 1966[7] before playing for Leicester City,[8] Bolton Wanderers,[9] Birmingham City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Southampton,[10] Brighton and Hove Albion,[11] Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End, Stockport County and Galway United.[12] Worthington played into his 40s making 757 English League appearances and scoring 234 goals. He also played in the United States (with NASL teams Philadelphia Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies), South Africa and Sweden as well as in English non-League football.[13] He was described by former Huddersfield and Bolton manager, Ian Greaves as "the working man’s George Best".[14]

Worthington's spell at Tranmere Rovers was as player-manager and although he had some success he did not return to management.[15]

He showed flair[16] and skill[17][18] in his play; he did not wear shin guards and his socks often fell to his ankles.[16][19] Worthington also had the reputation for enjoying the high life.[17][20] After his retirement from the game he turned to the after-dinner speaking circuit and also published his autobiography One Hump Or Two. The front cover featured a smiling Worthington, contemplating putting lumps of sugar in his cup of tea; the book title is a deliberate sexual pun.[21]

In 1984, Worthington made three guest appearances for Manchester United against the Australian national team, Nottingham Forest and Juventus on their post-season tour of Australia. He then made a further guest appearance for the club in May 1985 against an Oxford United XI for Peter Foley's testimonial.[22]

Late in 1988, Worthington had a brief spell with Chorley in the Football Conference, making his debut in a 0–0 draw with Weymouth at Victory Park on 5 November 1988.[23] He signed for Galway United in February 1989.[24]

International career

While a Leicester City player, Worthington won eight caps for England in 1974. He made his debut on 15 May against Northern Ireland in the 1973–74 British Home Championship, coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 victory at Wembley. He scored two goals, against Argentina and Bulgaria in friendlies.[25] Joe Mercer was England’s manager for six of Worthington’s international appearances. He described him as one of the best centre-forwards of all time.[26]

Worthington further represented England in the 1991 edition of the World Cup of Masters, scoring in the opening round against Uruguay.[27]

Personal life

Worthington lived a playboy lifestyle.[28] In 1972 he undertook a medical at Liverpool ahead of a proposed transfer to the club. On hearing that Worthington had high blood pressure, manager Bill Shankly sent him to Majorca for a week for health reasons. After encounters with five separate women, including a former Miss Great Britain, during the break, he returned showing higher blood pressure and the transfer fell through.[28]

He was known for his charisma, flamboyance and his hair, clothes and fast cars. He once had four court appearances for driving in one year including one for doing a u-turn on the motorway in his red Ford Mustang.[26]

He was a big fan of Elvis Presley and while playing for Sunderland would often turn up at their training ground dressed as Presley.[29]

Worthington was married twice: firstly in 1973 to Brigitta K. Egermalm, and secondly in 1986 to Carol, the daughter of Noel Dwyer, the Irish international goalkeeper.[30]

In May 2016, his daughter said that Worthington had Alzheimer's disease for several years.[31] Worthington denied her claims shortly afterwards.[32]

He died on 22 March 2021 following a lengthy illness at the age of 72 in Huddersfield.[33][34]

Honours

Huddersfield Town

Southampton

Bolton Wanderers

References

  1. ^ a b c "Frank Worthington". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  2. ^ Rollin, Jack, ed. (1980). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1980–81. London: Queen Anne Press. p. 62. ISBN 0362-02017-5.
  3. ^ "Guiseley A.F.C., 1989–90, Appearances / Goals". Guiseley AFC Memorabilia. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Frank Worthington, supremely talented footballer and one of the game's great entertainers – obituary". Daily Telegraph. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021. His father Eric had ... played for Halifax Town as an inside forward. Frank’s mother Alice, meanwhile, had been centre forward for the WAAF’s wartime team.
  5. ^ "Frank Worthington dies at 72: A born showman who made headlines on and off the pitch". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Worthington, Gary". wherearetheynow.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  7. ^ Threlfall-Sykes, David (23 March 2021). "R.I.P. Frank Worthington 1948–2021". Huddersfield Town FC. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  8. ^ Hutchinson, John (23 March 2021). "Frank Worthington: 1948–2021". Leicester FC. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Rest in Peace: Frank Worthington (1948-2021)". Bolton Wanders FC. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  10. ^ a b Holley, Duncan (23 March 2021). "Frank Worthington: An appreciation". Southampton FC. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Obituary: Frank Worthington". Brighton & Hove Albion FC. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  12. ^ Sharrock, Gordon (21 April 2013). "UNCOVERED: Our first picture ever of THAT Frank Worthington goal – 34 years on". The Bolton News. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  13. ^ Hackett, Robin (7 February 2012). "Frank Worthington: All shook up". ESPN.co.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  14. ^ Chisnall, David (23 March 2021). "Frank Worthington: football maverick described as 'the working man's George Best' dies aged 72". Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Frank Worthington dead at 72: Tributes paid to great maverick of English football". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  16. ^ a b Garside, Kevin (22 October 2012). "Kevin Garside: Oh for some flair like Frank's to fire up dull England". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 May 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  17. ^ a b Booth, Mel (21 November 2019). "Breathtaking Frank Worthington moment as Huddersfield Town mark his 71st birthday against Birmingham City". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  18. ^ Skelly, Ed (21 April 2019). "Frank Worthington – The man, the myth, 'that' goal". lionofviennasuite.sbnation.com. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  19. ^ Dixon, Barry (10 November 2015). "They Could Have Been One of Football's Greatest: Frank Worthington". LWDS. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Football's drink problem". BBC News. 12 October 1998. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Frank Worthington, Leicester City". elitesportshistory.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Frank Worthington dead: Former England star passes away age 72 following illness". The Irish Mirror. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  23. ^ Chorley v. Macclesfield Town programme, 19 November 1988
  24. ^ "Monday, February 13, 1989 – Page 004". The Irish Times. 13 February 1989. p. 4. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  25. ^ "Frank Worthington". Englandstats. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  26. ^ a b Burnton, Simon (24 March 2021). "Entertainment was all for Frank Worthington – on the pitch and off it". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  27. ^ Bobrowsky, Josef; Leme de Arruda, Marcelo (11 February 2006). "I World Cup of Masters (also known as III Copa Pelé)". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  28. ^ a b Atkinson, Neil (6 May 2016). "Did Huddersfield Town legend Frank Worthington's Playboy lifestyle ruin a move to Liverpool?". Yorkshire Live. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  29. ^ Stenning, Adam (23 March 2021). "Frank Worthington's most memorable moments". The Argus. Brighton. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  30. ^ "England players: Frank Worthington". englandfootballonline.com. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Frank Worthington: Ex-England striker has Alzheimer's disease, says daughter". BBC Sport. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Frank Worthington: Ex-England striker denies Alzheimer's diagnosis". BBC Sport. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  33. ^ "Frank Worthington: Former England striker dies aged 72 following long illness". BBC Sport. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Entertainment was all for Frank Worthington – on the pitch and off it". Guardian. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  35. ^ "Where Are They Now? Huddersfield Town's Second Division champions 1969–70". The Football League Paper. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  36. ^ "Southampton FC Squad 1983/1984". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  37. ^ "Where Are They Now? Bolton Wanderers 1977-78 Second Division Champions". The Football League Paper. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  38. ^ Hayes, Andy (23 March 2021). "Frank Worthington dies aged 72: Tributes paid to former Huddersfield, Leicester and England striker". Sky News. Retrieved 24 March 2021.

Bibliography

External links

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