1958-1960 and 1967-1969
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,
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.