Frank Soo: Calls to remember England’s ‘forgotten’ footballer

Frank Soo: Calls to remember England’s ‘forgotten’ footballer
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Frank Soo is known as England's 'forgotten' footballer

Frank Soo is known as England’s ‘forgotten’ footballer Credit: Susan Gardiner

England’s first non-white footballer to win an international cap is being remembered by search engine Google, in the form of their daily Google Doodle, on the day he made his first appearance for his country, against Wales in Cardiff.

Frank Soo was born in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1914, and raised in Liverpool. His parents, a Liverpool-based Chinese sailor father, Our Quong-Soo, and English mother, Beatrice Whittam, had married in Chorlton, Manchester in 1908.

Frank (back row, 4th from right) playing for the RAF v Scotland
Frank (back row, 4th from right) playing for the RAF v Scotland Credit: Mercer Family

His early footballing career was spent with several clubs on Merseyside, before being scouted and signed by Stoke City in 1933, going on to captain the side, making 173 appearances.

He went on to play for Leicester City, Luton Town and Chelsmford City before retiring from playing in 1950.

Soo then embarked on a career in management, coaching clubs in Finland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Scunthorpe, along with the Norwegian national team in the 1952 Olympics. He died in 1991.

Frank (second right) appearing for England at Wembley in May 1945
Frank (second right) appearing for England at Wembley in May 1945 Credit: Mercer Family

During the Second World War, Soo enlisted with the RAF, captaining their football team. It was then that he was called up for England, winning the first of his nine caps on 9th May, 1942. Those wartime games aren’t classed as official fixtures, but there are calls for his achievements to be recognised.

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