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18 September 2023

Frank Becton

Preston North End FC, Liverpool FC

2 appearances, 2 goals on debut

P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 F 13: A 0
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:

Frank Becton


  Francis Becton
Birth Tuesday, 28 October 1873 in Preston, Lancashire
  registered as Francis Bectif, Preston, October-December 1873
  Becton is said to be born on 11th May 1873 which is incorrect. No entry for that date of birth exists at the General Record Office. In the 1891 Census, a Frank Becton (born abt 1874) appears with his parents Martin and Margaret. This traces to the birth certificate of a Francis BECTIF - listed in the last quarter of the 1873. GRO index. Illiteracy probably explains this anomaly. His actual date of birth was 28 October 1873. - Paul Plowman (Swindon Town FC Historian).

According to the 1881 census, Francis is the third of six children to Irish parents, Martin and Margaret. They live at 3 Old Lodge Street in Preston. His father is a general labourer.


According to the 1891 census, 17 year-old Francis is now one of seven children living at home at 44 Croft Street, Preston. Now a loomer at the cotton mill.

Marriage to Maria Richardson, in Preston, Summer 1897
  registered in Preston, July-September 1897
Children Frank and Maria Becton had two children together, Clara (b.1899) and Lawrence (b.11 January 1903).

According to the 1901 census, Frank is now married to Maria, with a single daughter, Clara (born in Heeley, Derbyshire), living at 50 Croft Street. Frank is a Cotton Weaver.

Death Saturday, 6 November 1909 at his home at 37 Villiers Street, Preston, Lancashire.
aged 36 years 9 days registered in Preston, October-December 1909


"The death occurred at his residence in Villiers-street, Preston, on Saturday, after a lingering illness, of an old North End player in the person of Frank Becton. Some twelve months ago the deceased underwent an operation, and though this was successful he became very weak, and consumption supervened. Becton, who was 36 years of age, was a Prestonian, and from playing with junior clubs on the old Marsh he rose in the space of a few years to the highest pinnacle of fame in the football world. Without doubt, he was a fine exponent of the winter pastime, for as a schoolboy he showed such skill that was in constant request by junior organisations. At the age of 20 he was associated with Fishwick Ramblers Club, from which he migrated to North End. Here he soon displayed his ability as an inside left, and along with Cowan formed the most dangerous wings in the country at that time. On occasions he played centre forward with great success. Indeed his clever footwork fitted him for almost any position in the attack, and in 1895 he played against Ireland, when his shooting was especially good. The following year he joined the ranks of Liverpool, and such capital form did he display that he was capped, in March, 1897, against Wales. He stayed with Liverpool some time, and also figured with the New Brighton Tower club, that only existed a year or two, and then his star began to wane, and he dropped out of first-class football. Of late years he had not engaged in the game owing to illness, and since retiring from football had followed his occupation in the cotton mills." - The Lancashire Daily Post/The Manchester Courier, Monday, 8 November 1909.

According to the 1911 census, widow Maria, a cotton weaver, still live at 37 Villier Street in Preston with Clara, and son Lawrence.

...BECTON.—On the 8th inst, at 93, Havelock-street, MARIA, widow of the late FRANK BECTON, aged 50 years.' - The Lancashire Daily Post, Friday, 10 December 1920
...BECTON.—In treasured remembrance of our dear mother, MARIA, died Dec. 8th. 1920; also father, FRANK BECTON, Nov. 6th, 1909.
The Master saw the rugged hill
Was getting to hard to climb,
So he closed their weary eyelids,
And whispered, 'Peace divine.'

—From Son and Daughter, Havelock-street, Preston." - The Lancashire Daily Post, Saturday, 10 December 1921
Source Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990], Paul Plowman, LFC History &

Playing Career

Played junior football in Preston before joining Fishwick Ramblers FC in 1889. Becton joined Preston North End FC in 1891. He joined Liverpool FC on 18 March 1895 for a £100 transfer fee, and then onto Sheffield United FC on 7 October 1898 for £200. Then Bedminster FC in 1899, but he returned to Deepdale for another season on 8 September 1900. Becton signed for Swindon Town FC on 23 August 1901 and made 41 Southern League appearances and scored nine goals. He moved onto Nelson FC, Ashton Town FC on 15 September 1903 and finally, New Brighton Tower FC. He retired in 1905 due to ill-health.

League honours
194 appearances 86 goals
Preston North End FC 1891-95 87 appearances 37 goals
debut: 21 November 1891 West Bromwich Albion FC 1 Preston North End FC 2
Liverpool FC 1895-1898 seventy appearances 38 goals
debut: 25 March 1895 Liverpool FC 2 Sunderland AFC 3
Sheffield United FC 1898-99 eleven appearances three goals
debut: 22 October 1898 Sheffield United FC 1 Preston North End FC 1
Preston North End FC 1900-01 26 appearances nine goals
debut: 29 September 1900 Preston North End FC 0 Notts County FC 1
last: 15 April 1901 Preston North End FC 2 West Bromwich Albion FC 3.
Club honours Football League runners-up 1891-92 (10ᵃ 5ᵍ); Division One runners-up 1892-93 (29ᵃ 15ᵍ);
Division Two winners
1895-96 (24ᵃ 17ᵍ);
FA Cup winners 1898-99 (2ᵃ);
Individual honours Football League (two appearances)
Distinctions Brother of John (Middlesbrough Ironopolis FC 1893-94), Martin (Preston North End FC 1907-08) and Tommy (Preston North End FC, New Brighton Tower FC & Sunderland AFC 1897-1900)
Height/Weight not known


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of four who became 218th players (221) to appear for England.
Position(s) Inside-left
First match No. 53, 9 March 1895, England 9 Ireland 0, a British Championship match at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground, Nottingham Road, Derby, aged 21 years 132 days.
Last match No. 60, 29 March 1897, England 4 Wales 0, a British Championship match at Bramall Lane, Highfield, Sheffield, aged 23 years 152 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1894-95, 1896-97;
Team honours British Championship winner 1894-95;
Individual honours None
Distinctions None

Beyond England

One of the best-travelled pre-1914 players and retired due to ill-health. After retiring, returned to the cotton mills - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.30.

The Numbers
parties Appearances comp. apps minutes goals ave.min comp. goals captain
2 2 2 180 2 90 min 2 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
2 2 0 0 13 0 +13 0 2 6.5 0 100 +2
both of his matches were played in the British Championship and at a home venue

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1894-95 1 1 0 0 9 0 +9 0 1 9.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC 1896-97 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC All 2 2 0 0 13 0 +13 0 2 6.50 0.00 100.0 +2

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 2 2 0 0 13 0 +13 0 2 6.50 0.00 100.0 +2
2 2 0 0 13 0 +13 0 2 6.5 0 100 +2

Match History

 Club: Preston North End F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 2ᵍ F.A. International Select Committee - two full appearances (180 min) 2ᵍx

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 21
1 53 9 March 1895 - England 9 Ireland 0
Derbyshire Cricket Ground, Derby
BC HW 14 shot
hit crossbar [3-0]

60 rebound

one of four who became the 218th players (221) to appear for England
the sixth Preston North End FC player to represent England
the 38th player to score on his England debut - the 22nd competitive
the scorer of the 35th brace for England
the fifteenth player to score a braces on his England debut

 Club: Liverpool F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)  

Age 23
2 60 29 March 1897 - England 4 Wales 0
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
BC HW   il

the second Liverpool FC player to represent England