Sunderland-born Frank Cornan, signed from Nelson, played in the Southern League for Exeter City during 1911/12. Aged thirty-one at the time he had previous experience with Barnsley, Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
Starting in Durham football with Sunderland Black Watch and Willington, he joined Barnsley in 1902 where he netted 18 goals in 88 league appearances before moving to First Division Birmingham City in 1905. Playing 54 times for his new club, he then switched to neighbouring Aston Villa for a fee of £350 in 1908. Never really establishing himself as a regular at Villa Park, he had a short spell with Spennymoor United before rejoining Barnsley in 1909. Not making the first team on his Oakwell return, he joined Nelson where he starred against Exeter City in the FA Cup in December 1910.
Capturing the attention of Grecians' manager Arthur Chadwick, who made many a signing from Lancashire, he joined Exeter in the summer of 1911 and made a goalscoring debut at Bristol Rovers on 21 October 1911. Playing in the majority of the remaining games, he returned to Barnsley for another brief spell at the end of the season.
Frank Cornan died on 31 May 1971 in Halifax.