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Neil Franklin

Stoke City FC

27 appearances, 0 goals

P 27 W 20 D 3 L 4 F 91: A 27
80% successful

1946-50

disciplined: none
captaincies:
none
minutes played:
2430

Profile

Full name Cornelius Franklin
Born 24 January 1922 in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent [registered as Cornelius F., in Stoke-on-Trent, March 1922].
Married twice, firstly to Vera Goodwin [registered in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, September 1942], secondly to Beryl D.G. Adams [registered in Braintree, Essex, September 1968].
Died 9 February 1996 in Stone, aged 74 years 16 days [registered in Stafford, Staffordhsire, February 1996].
Height/Weight 5' 10", 11st. 4lbs [1950].

Source

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

Club Career

Club(s) Began playing football as a schoolboy in the Potteries area. He joined his local league side, Stoke City FC, and was playing with their junior side, Stoke Old Boys FC, while being employed as groundstaff at Victoria Ground. He signed professional forms with the club in January 1939, and before becoming one of the leading centre-backs in the country, he guested for Gainsborough Trinity FC during WWII. After 108 First Division appearances, an offer of management with Chingford Town FC in the summer of 1949 began what turned out to be a turbulent season for Franklin, Chingford, being a non-league club, were not restricted to paying the minimum wage. Hull City FC then waded in with a world record transfer bid of thirty thousand pounds. However, Franklin resigned with Stoke, but the seeds had been sown, and after another 34 First Division appearances, and with the promise of untold riches, Franklin, alongside clubmate George Mountford, joined Bogota club side, Independiente Santa Fe, in Colombia, on 8 May 1950, the country was  expelled by FIFA for breaking regulations, and any players joining were considered rebellious and were also banned. Despite a sixty pound per week wage packet, and a 35 pound win bonus, Franklin returned to England in August, having played just six Primera A matches, scoring once, due to political tension and homesickness, and after serving a four month suspension, he signed with Hull City FC, who finally got their man for 22,500 pounds in February 1951. Chingford Town FC at this point, had folded. After 95 Second Division appearances, he joined Crewe Alexandra FC in February 1956 for 1250 pounds and he made 66 Third Division (North) appearances, scoring four goals. Stockport County FC then paid the exact same transfer fee for him in October 1957 and he made a final twenty Third Division (North) appearances. He was employed by Wellington Town FC as their player-coach from July 1959. Joined Sankey's FC, a local side also in Wellington, a year later, playing alongside Henry Cockburn once more, and was their player-manager for the 1961-62 season and until his retirement in December 1962.
Club honours None
Individual honours Football League (five appearances)
Distinctions None

Source

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

Management Career

Club(s) Began his coaching career with Wellington Town FC from July 1959, where he also remained as a player. He was then the player-manager of Sankey's FC for the 1961-62 season until December 1962. Left for Cyprus in 1963, coaching Nicosia side Appoel FC from February to November. Returned to become manager at Colchester United from November 1963 until May 1968;
Club honours None

England Career

Player number One of nine who became the 655th player (659) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-half
First match No. 227, 28 September 1946, Ireland 2 England 7, a British Championship match at Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, aged 24 years 247 days.
Last match No. 253, 15 April 1950, Scotland 0 England 1, a World Cup qualification match and British Championship match at Hampden Park, Mount Florida, Glasgow, aged 28 years 81 days.
Major tournaments British Championships 1946-47, 1947-48, 1948-49, 1949-50;
Team honours British Championships winners 1946-47, 1947-48, 1949-50;
Individual honours England B (two appearances, 1947-48), England wartime (three appearances)
Distinctions Suspended from playing for England prior to the 1950 World Cup Finals

Beyond England

Ran a bar in Sandon, the Dog and Doublet, in his latter days.  A Stoke City FC shirt and his England Caps adorned the bar. Also held the pumps at The Bluebell in Shelton, The Wayfarer in Stone and a public house in Oswaldtwistle. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.101/102.

 

Neil Franklin - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Apps
Starts Sub on Sub off Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Goals
Capt. Disc.
27 27 12 27 0 0 2430 0 0 min 0 none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.

 

Neil Franklin - Match Record - All Matches
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 12 8 2 2 40 14 +26 1 5 3.333 1.444 75.0 +6
Away 15 12 1 2 51 13 +38 2 7 3.40 0.867 83.3 +10
All 27 20 3 4 91 27 +64 3 12 3.37 1.00 79.6 +16

 

Neil Franklin - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L

WCP

3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
WCF 0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 =0
World Cup 3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
British Championship 12 9 2 1 40 13 +27 0 5 3.333 1.083 83.3 +8

Note that the 1949-50 records of the World Cup Preliminaries and British Championships are duplicated, and one set is therefore deducted from the grand total.

Friendly 15 11 1 3 51 14 +37 3 7 3.40 0.933 76.7 +8
All 27 20 3 4 91 27 +64 3 12 3.37 1.00 79.6 +16

 

Neil Franklin - Match Record - Tournament Matches
World Cup Preliminary Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WCP/BC 1949-50 3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
WCP All 3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1946-47 3 2 1 0 11 3 +8 0 1 3.667 1.00 83.3 +2
BC 1947-48 3 2 1 0 7 2 +5 0 2 2.333 0.667 83.3 +2
BC 1948-49 3 2 0 1 8 5 +3 0 1 2.667 1.667 66.7 +1
BC/WCP 1949-50 3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
BC All 12 9 2 1 40 13 +27 0 5 3.333 1.083 83.3 +8
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
WC 3 3 0 0 14 3 +11 0 1 4.667 1.00 100.0 +3
BC 12 9 2 1 40 13 +27 0 5 3.333 1.083 83.3 +8

Note that the 1949-50 records of the World Cup Preliminaries and British Championships are duplicated, and one set is therefore deducted from the grand total.

All 12 9 2 1 40 13 +27 0 5 3.333 1.083 83.3 +8

 

Neil Franklin - Match History
 Club: Stoke City F.C. - 27 full caps

Coach: Walter Winterbottom - 27 full capsx

Age 24
1 227 28 September 1946 - Ireland 2 England 7, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AW Start 5
2 228 30 September 1946 - Ireland (Éire) 0 England 1, Dalymount Park, Dublin Fr AW Start 5
3 229 13 November 1946 - England 3 Wales 0, Maine Road, Manchester BC HW Start 5
4 230 27 November 1946 - England 8 Netherlands 2, Leeds Road, Huddersfield Fr HW Start 5
Age 25
5 231 12 April 1947 - England 1 Scotland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HD Start 5
6 232 3 May 1947 - England 3 France 0, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start 5
7 233 18 May 1947 - Switzerland 1 England 0, Hardturm Sportplatz, Zurich tour AL Start 5
1 b 21 May 1947 - Switzerland 0 England 0, Genève AD Start 5
8 234 25 May 1947 - Portugal 0 England 10, Estadio Nacional, Lisboa AW Start 5
9 235 21 September 1947 - Belgium 2 England 5, Stade du Centenaire, Bruxelles Fr AW Start 5
10 236 18 October 1947 - Wales 0 England 3, Ninian Park, Cardiff BC AW Start 5
11 237 5 November 1947 - England 2 Ireland 2, Goodison Park, Liverpool HD Start 5
12 238 19 November 1947 - England 4 Sweden 2, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start 5
Age 26
13 239 10 April 1948 - Scotland 0 England 2, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC AW Start 5
14 240 16 May 1948 - Italy 0 England 4, Stadio Comunale di Torino, Torino tour AW Start 5
2 b 19 May 1948 - Switzerland 1 England 5, Bellinzona AW Start 5
15 241 26 September 1948 - Denmark 0 England 0, Idraetsparken, Kobenhavn Fr AD Start 5
16 242 9 October 1948 - Ireland 2 England 6, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AW Start 5
17 243 10 November 1948 - England 1 Wales 0, Villa Park, Birmingham HW Start 5
18 244 2 December 1948 - England 6 Switzerland 0, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury Fr HW Start 5
Age 27
19 245 9 April 1949 - England 1 Scotland 3, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HL Start 5
20 246 13 May 1949 - Sweden 3 England 1, Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna tour AL Start 5
- b 15 May 1949 - Finland A 0 England 4, Olympiastadion, Helsinki AW reserve
21 247 18 May 1949 - Norway 1 England 4, Ullevål Stadion, Oslo AW Start 5
- b 18 May 1949 - Netherlands A 1 England 4, Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam AW reserve
22 248 22 May 1949 - France 1 England 3, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris AW Start 5
23 249 21 September 1949 - England 0 Republic of Ireland 2, Goodison Park, Liverpool Fr HL Start 5
24 250 15 October 1949 - Wales 1 England 4, Ninian Park, Cardiff BC/
WCP
AW Start 5
25 251 16 November 1949 - England 9 Ireland 2, Maine Road, Manchester HW Start 5
26 252 30 November 1949 - England 2 Italy 0, White Hart Lane, Tottenham Fr HW Start 5
Age 28
27 253 15 April 1950 - Scotland 0 England 1, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC/
WCP
AW Start 5

Notes

Neil Franklin was arguably the finest centre-half the England football team ever had. After losing his early prime to the Second World War, he became an automatic choice for his country, only to scupper an apparently gilded career by one disastrous, if understandable, decision.

When he walked out on Stoke City, turned his back on England's first World Cup campaign, and flew to Bogota in the summer of 1950, Franklin believed he was heading for a pot of gold and securing his family's financial future. No more would he be a slave to the English game's iniquitous system which made players little more than appallingly paid slaves to their clubs.

But the hoped-for El Dorado in Colombia - then acrimoniously outside the jurisdiction of the Federation of International Football Associations - proved to be a sorry illusion, and in less than two months he was back home in the Potteries, chastened, largely ostracised and destined for virtual oblivion for the rest of his time as a player.

Franklin's excellence was never in question from the day in 1939 that he turned professional with the first division Stoke, his home-town club. He didn't make his senior debut before the conflict but was catapaulted to prominence by consistent magnificence in wartime football, for City, for the RAF, and, eventually, in England's unofficial Victory matches.

When peacetime competition resumed in 1946, Franklin's full international place was not in doubt, and he cemented it with a then record 27 consecutive appearances over the next four years.

What made Neil Franklin different as a central defender was his pure skill. Virtually all stoppers of his era were hunky bustlers whose brawn and aggression were their paramount assets, but the Stoke number five adopted a singularly subtle approach. Though firm in the tackle and competitive in the air - indeed, impressively so for a man of 5ft 11in who weighed just 11 stone - he tended to master his adversaries by shrewd positional sense and almost uncanny anticipation. Then, having gained possession of the ball, he could stroke it with masterful accuracy to which-ever colleague he chose. Invariably, Franklin appeared in command of a situation, serenely composed, a born organiser, a delight to the eye.

When his decision to leave Stoke for Santa Fe of Bogota to play in a so-called rebel league became public, bedlam broke out across the soccer world. As he, together with his City team-mate George Mountford, flew to South America to earn reportedly 10 times their English wages, they were slated cruelly as "greedy traitors", some of their most vociferous critics having a vested interest in the British game's maintaining its unfair status quo.

Of course, there were sound football reasons why the 27-year-old Franklin should not place himself beyond the pale, and Walter Winterbottom, the gentlemanly England manager, was among those who had implored him not to go.

Sadly for the bold adventurer, his idyll did not last long. Most of Santa Fe's other recruits were Argentinians, with whom the Stoke pair found it difficult to play. There were also problems settling in a strange country for Franklin's pregnant wife and his six-year-old son and the pressure became too much for him to bear. Accordingly, he flew home to England after less than two months, homesick and disillusioned, leaving Bogota behind him for ever. Not surprisingly, he was not made welcome. Suspended for four months by the football authorities and his club, shunned by some of his erstwhile colleagues, the country's most accomplished centre-half spent the winter of 1950-51 in a non-productive limbo which was ended in February by a pounds 22,500 move to the second division Hull City.

The extent of the widespread feeling against Franklin could be judged by the fact that none of the major clubs tried to acquire his proven talent, but that did not bother Hull's boss, Raich Carter. He had long coveted his former England colleague and reckoned there was no reason why the centre-half should not return to the international reckoning at the same time as providing inspiration for the Tigers.

Unfortunately, neither ambition was achieved. Despite obvious poverty in central defence England never picked Franklin again, preferring to run through no less than a dozen inferior performers over the next four years before shifting Billy Wright to fill the troublesome position. As for his contribution to Hull, it was badly hampered by injuries and promotion was not achieved.

Thereafter, Franklin's playing days petered out in poignant anticlimax. There were brief lower-division interludes with Crewe Alexandra and Stockport County before he moved into non-league circles, serving the likes of Macclesfield and Wellington Town (whom he also coached) before he retired in 1962.

However, Franklin was determined to remain in the game and coached in Cyprus before accepting the manager's seat at the third division Colchester United in November 1963. He could not prevent their relegation the following season, but led them straight back up, only for another demotion to bring about his dismissal in 1968.

In later years, Franklin ran a pub in Oswaldtwistle, Lancaster. But for that one fateful decision to seek his fortune, there is no telling what glorious tales of soccer achievement he might have had to tell his regulars. - Ivan Ponting - The Independent Obituary

____________________

CG