Frank Hill

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Frank Hill
Personal information
Full nameFrank Robert Hill [1]
Date of birth(1906-05-21)21 May 1906
Place of birth Forfar, Scotland
Date of death 28 August 1993(1993-08-28) (aged 87)
Place of death Lafayette, California, United States
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) [2]
Position(s) Right half
Senior career*
1924–1928 Forfar Athletic 119 (26)
1928–1932 Aberdeen 98 (9)
1932–1936 Arsenal 76 (3)
1936–1937 Blackpool 45 (8)
1937–1939 Southampton 51 (3)
1944–1948 Crewe Alexandra 20 (0)
National team
1930–1931 Scotland [3] 3 (0)
1930 Scottish League XI [4] 1 (0)
Teams managed
1944–1948 Crewe Alexandra (Player-manager)
1948–1954 Burnley
1954–1956 Preston North End
1957 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1958–1961 Notts County
1961–1965 Charlton Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Frank Robert Hill (21 May 1906 – 28 August 1993) [2] was a Scottish football player and manager.


Playing career

Forfar and Aberdeen

Hill was born in Forfar and started his career at Forfar Athletic, joining the club in 1924. [5] He moved to Aberdeen in 1928 and played over 100 Scottish Division One matches. A right-half (which was more or less the equivalent of a defensive midfield position), Hill earned the nickname "Tiger" for his "tigerish" tackling. During his four years at Aberdeen, he also won three caps for Scotland (between 1930 and 1931). [3]

Hill left Aberdeen under something of a cloud, being one of five players dropped by manager Paddy Travers in November 1931. At the time, the reasons were not clear, but the club's official history claims that several players had been involved in a betting scandal. No players were ever charged with any offence, but none of them ever played for Aberdeen again. [6] Hill had played a total of 106 times for Aberdeen, scoring 10 goals. [7]


In 1932, he was signed by Herbert Chapman's Arsenal, who had just finished as runners-up in both the First Division and FA Cup. He made his debut against Blackburn Rovers on 15 October 1932. At the time, Arsenal were spoilt for wing-halves and Hill competed for his place with Charlie Jones, Bob John, Wilf Copping and Jack Crayston. Despite this, Hill featured in all three of Arsenal's 1933, 1934 and 1935 League title campaigns. He also won the 1934 Charity Shield with the Gunners. Hill usually played at right-half but also deputised at left-half or even on the wing. [8]

Hill was squeezed out of the side by Copping and Crayston, and only featured in ten matches in 1935–36, and did not play in Arsenal's FA Cup final victory that season. He requested a transfer and was sold to Second Division Blackpool in the summer of 1936. In all he played 81 games for Arsenal, scoring four goals. [9]


Hill captained Blackpool in the 1936–37 season, helping them to runners-up spot and thus promotion to the First Division. However, he didn't stay in the top flight for long as in September 1937 he joined Second Division side Southampton. [8]


In May 1937, Hill was recruited by Tom Parker to join Southampton as part of his drive to strengthen the team in an attempt to gain promotion from the Second Division, along with David Affleck (from Clapton Orient), Billy Bevis (from Portsmouth) and Ray Parkin (from Middlesbrough). Southampton paid £2000 for his services and acquired "a half-back with a strong personality and ball-winning abilities". [10] Hill's resolve and leadership helped steer Saints away from relegation during 1937–38, only for him to suffer a series of injuries the following season which sidelined him for long periods. [10]

Hill eventually fell out with the Board of Directors when it was revealed that he had secretly applied for various managerial positions and he left the club in 1939 to take up a position as assistant trainer at Preston North End, although Southampton refused to release his player registration until 1943. He made 53 appearances for Southampton, scoring three goals. [10]

During the Second World War, when football was suspended, Hill served in the Royal Air Force in India. [8]

Managerial career

Hill returned to Britain in 1944 and became player-manager of Crewe Alexandra (making 20 appearances, excluding Football War League games, and playing his last game for Crewe in February 1948) [11] until he was 42. He went on to manage Burnley from September 1948 to 1954 then Preston North End from 1954 to 1956. [12]

He then moved abroad in January 1957, coaching the Iraqi military team as well as Iraqi club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, [13] before returning to take over at Notts County in 1958. [2] He helped County to promotion to the Third Division in 1959–60, and moved to Charlton Athletic, who were bottom of the Second Division, in 1961. He saved Charlton from relegation that season and took them to fourth in 1963–64. However, he could not make the good form last and was sacked in the summer of 1965.[ citation needed ]

Hill finished his career as a scout for Manchester City, before retiring. He moved with his wife Doris and son David to Lafayette, California, USA in 1967 where they owned "Piccadilly Circus Fish'n Chips" and he refereed locally at the college level well into his 70s.[ citation needed ]

He died in California in August 1993, aged 87. [2]

Managerial statistics

Managerial record by team and tenure
Crewe Alexandra 1 July 1944September 1948102451938044.1
Burnley September 19481 August 19542661056893039.5
Preston North End 1 August 19541 May 195688311740035.2
Notts County 1 October 19581 November 1961151612961040.4
Charlton Athletic 1 November 19611 August 1965172653374037.8
Total [14] 779307166306039.4


As a player

Arsenal [15]

As a manager

Notts County

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan & Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 92. ISBN   978-0-9926-8640-6.
  3. 1 2 "Scotland players: Frank Hill". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  4. "Frank Hill - Scotland Football League Record from 05 Nov 1930 to 05 Nov 1930 clubs - Aberdeen". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. "Forfar Athletic Stats". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  6. Webster, Jack (2003). The First 100 Years of The Dons: the official history of Aberdeen Football Club 1903 - 2003. Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 128–131. ISBN   0-340-82344-5.
  7. Smith, Paul (2007). The Legends of Aberdeen. Breedon Books. p. 85. ISBN   978-1-85983-575-3.
  8. 1 2 3 "Frank Hill".
  9. Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony (ed.). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN   1-899429-03-4.
  10. 1 2 3 Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 165–166. ISBN   0-9514862-3-3.
  11. Crisp, Marco (1998). Crewe Alexandra Match by Match (2nd ed.). Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 79. ISBN   1-899468-81-1.
  12. "Frank Hill". League
  13. 2016 AFC CUP: AL-JAWIYA'S CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY,, Hassanin Mubarak
  14. "Frank Hill – Managerial statistics". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  15. "Frank Hill". 11 v