Foxes A to Z, Frank McLintock, a special Scottish adventure in English football

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Brought down from Gorbals and nurtured at Filbert Street as a probing wing-half, Frank possessed the rare combination of toughness and elegance and soon became a key element in City’s then revelutionary midfield strategies of the early 60’s.

Wether switching wing-half and inside forward roles mid-match with Graham Cross or creating crossfield magic with Davie Gibson, he oozed footballing class, and it was no surprise either when he graduated to full Scottish honours or when Billy Wright’s Arsenal eventually paid City their then record fee of £80,000 for his services.

Frank took some time to settle at Highbury, and extended his apparent Wembley hoodoo in the late 60’s following heartbreak FA Cup final defeats for Leicester City in 1961 and 1963 with a pair of losing League Cup Final appearances for Arsenal in 1968 and 1969.

Then, though he experienced a couple of years of genuine glory, skippering to the domestic double a year later as well as picking up both the 1971 football of the year award and a CBE, and re-establishing himself as an influential international.

Subsequently it looked a certain case of Frank being written off too early when he was allowed to move cheaply to Queens Park Rangers, and assisted them to a near time miss title bid in 1976, but it was equally evident that after 609 League games, he was handed too much backroom responsibility too soon when engaged as Leicester City manager in 1977 in succession to Jimmy Bloomfield.

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Too many of his transfer-market dealings bore the stamp of desperation, too few of his tactical ideas translated effectively to on-field practice, and Frank’s unwillingness to commit to living again in Leicester (or to leaving behind his London business in interests) hardly helped his cause.

His broken-backed Leicester City team were already certainties for relegation when he resigned in April 1978, and he returned to the capital as, successively adviser on the dire soccer-themed movie “Yesterday’s Hero’, youth coach at QPR, broadcaster, Brentford manager, assistant boss at Millwall, and part-time players agent.

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Frank McLintock continued in football up to this date, being a commentator for both BBC and Sky Sports. To read more about the life of Frank McLintock, you will of course not miss out on his autobiography, True Grit.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Frank McLintock
  • Position: Defender / Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 28.12.1939
  • Birthplace: Glasgow
  • Nation: Scotland
  • Caps / Goals: 9/1
  • Major League Career:
    • 1956-64, Leicester City (168/25)
    • 1964-73, Arsenal (314/26)
    • 1973-77, Queens Park Rangers (37/0)
    • 2011 ->, Leicester City (127/5)
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