1958-1960 and 1967-1969
Frank Broome

Birth Date

11th June 1915





Biographical Text

Less than 48 hours after parting company with Bill Thompson, the ambitious Mr A. S. Line arranged to meet the former England International Frank Broome at The Dell, where Southampton were playing against Exeter City. Eventually, City ended up losing 6-0.

Chairman Line was a persuasive man, however, and within a few minutes of the referee’s final whistle, Frank Broome was manager-coach of Exeter City.

With the club three places off rock bottom and the Third Divisions North and South due to be split into Third and Fourth Divisions, Broome had no time to achieve anything before the drop. However, with the aid of only three new first-team players in 1958-59, Frank turned a bottom of the Third Division South side into one that finished fifth in the Fourth Division, missing promotion by two points.

The following seasons they finished ninth and then Frank dropped a bombshell by taking a better-paid job at Southend United. It was a move that he subsequently regretted.

In May 1967, Exeter city cabled him in Australia, where he had been for nearly six years. It wasn’t long before his happy memories of St James’ park persuaded him to return.
In February 1969, with the side one place off the bottom of the League, he was sacked.

When he signed for the Grecians the local paper ran the following article,

Introducing our New Manager-Coach Mr. Frank H. Broome
Born at Berkhamsted, Frank Broome started his playing career with Berkhamsted Town in the Spartan League. He represented that League on a number of occasions and soon attracted the attention of several London clubs. After consideration, however, they turned him down because they thought he was too small and light to make the grade.
How wrong they were! In November 1934 Aston Villa snapped him up and he gave that club outstanding service over a period of 12 years. During this time he often topped Villa's goalscoring list and also played for England on eight occasions.
Unfortunately, like so many other players of the same generation Frank Broome's career was interrupted by the war, other wise he would certainly have registered over 500 Football League appearances.
Still, Mr. Broome packed a great deal of experience into a distinguished playing career, experience which proves a great asset to him as a coach. For instance, his total of 394 peace-time Football League appearances includes games in every division of the Football League including both sections of Division III. His total of League goals is 175.
In addition to those games Mr. Broome played for England in every forward position except inside-left, meeting Germany, Switzerland, France, Norway, Italy, Jugoslavia, Romania and in a war-time game, Scotland.
Probably the most memorable international for our new Manager-coach was that one in Berlin in May 1938. Then it was that our players had to line-up and give the Nazi salute before proceeding to show the Germans that they were not such a superior race after all by trouncing them 6-3.
Frank Broome led the England attack in that game and every one of the forwards got a goal.
All in all, Frank Broome remained one of the most famous footballers ever associated with Exeter City. He had previously played in seven England internationals, appearing in four of the five forward positions together with all-time greats as Stanley Matthews, Ted Drake, Cliff Bastin and Tommy Lawton. He made a scoring debut for England in a 6-3 win against West Germany.

In addition, he had made 133 League appearances for Aston Villa (1934-46), being leading goal-scorer in three seasons, scoring 78 goals for them.

An article by Roger Giles was published in the Ottery Heritage Newsletter 
On Saturday 14 May 1938 a football match took place in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin, in front of 105,000 spectators. England beat Germany 6 - 3. What gave the match considerable notoriety, was that the England players gave the Nazi Salute, on the advice of Britain`s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Neville Henderson. Senior Nazis such as Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels were present.
There was an Ottery connection!
Making his debut, and playing centre forward for England, was 22 year old Frank Broome of Aston Villa. He scored in the match.
Cliff Bastin, formerly of Exeter City, but at the time playing for Arsenal, also scored.
In his later days Frank Broome, and his wife Elsie, lived in Oak Close. They are buried in Ottery`s cemetery.
Frank Broome was a very fine player - he played for England seven times, scoring three goals. He played 136 times for Aston Villa, scoring 78 goals - a tremendous striking rate. He scored six goals in one match! Overall, he played 395 league games, scoring 175 goals. His stats would have been even more impressive but for the war interruption to his football career.
On 1 January 1958 Frank became Exeter City`s manager. I believe that he met Elsie, who was working at Exeter University, at this time. After two successful years, Frank went to manage Southend, and then (I think) to Australia. He returned to manage Exeter City between 1 May 1967 and1 February 1969.
His last season in charge (1968/69) was quite memorable. In September Sheffield Wednesday, then of the First Division, were beaten 3 - 1 at St James`s Park in the Football League Cup. In the next round away to Tottenham, Exeter lost 6 - 3, after leading twice. And then in January, the great Manchester United team of George Best, Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton, visited St James`s Park in the 3rd round of the F A Cup.
In his last years Frank was not well, and I actually collected him in an ambulance to take him to a day care centre.
I have always thought it sad that his gravestone make no mention of his glorious football career.




Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>