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Early Days

Like most Rugby League players, Frank began playing the sport for his local amateur club. Although his career began almost by accident, its subsequent progression reflected the strength of amateur Rugby League in one of its traditional strongholds. The mining communities of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria boast a succession of leading amateur clubs and the area to the south of Leeds, which includes Frank’s home village Kippax, has been particularly prominent. Clubs from that area have produced a host of professionals and. Thirteen players, from the Wakefield District League were signed by professional clubs in 1932-33 alone. Local interest in amateur Rugby League was also high during this period and in 1933 more than 10,000 people watched the final of the Wakefield works competition.

Frank became one of many amateur players to sign for a professional club when he joined Hunslet, for a brief spell in the mid 1930s, before moving on to Castleford. He signed for the south Leeds club during on of its most successful periods and, after winning the Challenge Cup in 1934, Hunslet reached the League Championship decider four years later. They met their neighbours from north of the river Aire in the only all Leeds final and the match was played at the Elland Road football ground, to accommodate a huge demand from the city’s Rugby League supporters. Over 54,000 people watched the game, a record for a match in England at the time, as Hunslet triumphed 8-2 to take the title for the second time in the Club’s history.