Foxes A to Z, Frank Worthington, flamboyant, excellent, brilliant

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Born in Halifax and one of three brothers to all play professional. Frank Worthington started his career at Huddersfield Town and was during the late 60’s and early 70’s a player that rise to the top scoring goals and also being capped at England U.23 level. He even made the full squad as a Terrier, but had to wait for his full international debut.

After a number of good seasons at Leeds Road, a move to Liverpool looked like happening, but a failed medical made Billy Shankly uncertain about the idea and Jimmy Bloomfield again made some fantastic business bringing one of the most talented forwards in the game to Leicester City.

Frank was an instant success at Leicester and during five seasons at Filbert Street he became a fans favourite. The Elvis look and of course his great admiration of the singer, made it easy to find him in the crowd and he was seen as a flamboyant carachter.

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Bloomfield had signed a group of players who knew how to entertain a crowd, and Worthington became the final act, together with players such as Keith Weller, Jon Sammels, Len Glover and Alan Birchenall he transformed the way of play from a bit defensive and dull to top entertainment.

Worthington won eight caps for England, during the tenure of Joe Mercer and the early days of Don Revie. All of his caps came during a short period in 1974. Few understood much when Frank McLintock decided to sell Worthington to 2nd tier Bolton Wanderers.

McLintock started to change the team and it all went into a relegation battle that eventuelly was lost. Leicester went down and changed places with Bolton, who Frank Worthington had helped back to the top flight scoring some very important goals.

Despite being a good signing for The Trotters, it was difficult to keep up with the 1st division quality and Bolton got relegated. Worthington liked the life of the top flight and signed for Birmingham City. He also became a favourite at St Andrews.

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During his travels he combined his play in England with short spells in the NASL. He turend out for Tampa Bay Rowdies and Philadelphia Fury. Worthington loved to play football and even turned out for teams in Sweden and South Africa.

After his time at Birmingham he had spells at Sunderland, Leeds and Southampton, with whom he won a runners-up medal in the 1983-84 season. This was the last time Worthington played at top level in England, but he just continued playing into his 40’s.

Brighton, Tranmere (player manager), Preston and Stockport were next, before another drop into the non-league game came around, here he was at clubs such as Chorley, Stalybridge Celtic, Galway United, Weymouth, Radcliffe Borough, Guiseley, Hinckley Town, Cemaes Bay and Halifax Town.

Worthington finally hang up his boots at the age of 42, and moved on to become an after dinner speaker until his retirement. One of the greatest entertainers in the English game. Worthington played in total 757 league games in total and scored 234 goals. He played for 22 seasons in which he represented 11 different clubs.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Frank Stewart Worthington
  • Position: Forward
  • Date of Birth: 23.11.1948
  • Birthplace: Halifax
  • Nation: England
    • Full Caps: 8, Debut: 1975 v. W Germany
    • U.23 Caps: 2, Debut: 1972 v. Poland
  • Major League Career:
    • 1966-72, Huddersfield Town (171/41)
    • 1972-77, Leicester City (210/72)
    • 1977-79, Bolton Wanderers (84/35)
    • 1979-82, Birmingham City (75/29)
    • 1982, Leeds United (32/14)
    • 1982-83, Sunderland (19/2)
    • 1983-84, Southampton (34/4)

Links: Pinterest, Wikipedia

 

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