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Dante
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Frank Swift

Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:33 pm

Frank Swift

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14th May 1947: Manchester City and England goalkeeper, Frank Swift, who died in the Munich air disaster while working as a journalist. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Frank Swift never played a game for United, in fact he spent his entire career keeping goal for city rivals Manchester City. And yet his name will be forever linked with red side of Manchester. As a journalist for the News of the World, Frank was on board Flight 609 along with the United players and staff. He was one of the 23 passengers to perish that day.

One of the greatest pre-war goalkeepers, if not of all time, Frank Swift was signed from non League Fleetwood Town in 1932 aged just 18, and was thrust into first team action a day before his 19th birthday. Once there, he remained the last line of City's defence until 1950. After making his debut against Derby County, he played in every game for four consecutive seasons, missing only one match in the final full season before the onset of war. During this streak, he helped City to the FA Cup in 1934, and his finest moment, the League Championship in 1937. The emotion of winning the Cup was too much for the young keeper, and he fainted after the final whistle. He recovered sufficiently to receive his medal, and the King, George V, later sent a telegram to ensure he was alright.

Despite the interruption of the Second World War, he was to play nearly 400 times for the club. Even that wasn't to stop him though, despite the conflict he made more than 150 wartime appearances for City, and played for his country 14 times in the same period. He would go on to play a further 19 times in official competition between 1946 and 1949.

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31st January 1948: Manchester City and England international goalkeeper, Frank Swift (1913 - 1958), punches away a shot during a match against Arsenal FC. Original Publication: Picture Post - 4498 - Britain's No. 1 Goalie - pub. 1948 (Photo by Charles Hewitt/Picture Post/Getty Images)

In 1948, he became the first goalkeeper since 1873 to captain England when he was given the armband for a game in Turin against Italy. The match was an emphatic victory for England who ran out 4-0 winners, the game being described as England's most emphatic and arguably best win, and is almost certainly England's best win on foreign soil. The next day, whilst sightseeing in Turin, Swift chanced upon a poster of the England team, completely covering a restaurant front.

His final medal was to come the year before, when City claimed the Second Division Championship. It was to prove his last hurrah, as in 1949/50 he retired from the game, much to the general shock of all. At 36, it was reckoned he could have played on for several seasons yet.

On retirement, he became a journalist. It was in this capacity, covering United's European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade for the News of the World that he came to be on the plane in Munich. Though he was pulled alive from the wreckage, he died on the way to the hospital. He was 44.

Widely respected as both a player and journalist, he was named in the Football League 100 Legends in 1998. In 2004, he was inducted into the newly created Manchester City Hall of Fame.

1933-1949 Manchester City 376 (0)
1939-1946 England (Wartime) 14 (0)
1946-1949 England 19 (0)

Born: Blackpool, Lancashire. December 26th, 1913.
Died: Munich, Germany. February 6th, 1958

Credits
Sporting hero: Frank Swift: Keith Roberts






Alex Walker © UNITEDLOUNGE.COM Reproducing this material, either in whole or in part, without the permission of unitedlounge.com is strictly prohibited



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Re: Frank Swift

Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:50 pm

A great player. One of the best keepers of all-time. My Dad saw him play and said he had the biggest hands he ever saw and used to come out to collect crosses like he was plucking apples from a tree.

Probably citys greatest ever player and good cause for the bitter brigade to have some respect at the game next month. If they dont want to respect our fallen heroes they can surely at least respect one of their own!

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Re: Frank Swift

Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:46 am

My Dad talks about the same thing as your Dad - he said Frank could catch a ball in one hand, the other thing he said was he lived up to his name, Swift, apparently he used to fly effortlessly across the goal

Many people, my Dad included regard Frank Swift as the greatest goalkeeper this country ever produced

Romulus

Re: Frank Swift

Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:06 am

I would have loved to see him play.
I played keeper most of the time when I was younger.

Thanks Alex, good read.

May he rest in peace.

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:41 am

Angelina #9 wrote:Great read Dante. Im sure City will respect our players as they will respect their own one.
That's why i could never understand the city fans singing about Munich. Lets all hope they pay proper respect this time.

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Re: Frank Swift

Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:34 am

Good read Dante. never realised he was such a good keeper

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liz jomaa
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Re: Frank Swift

Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:47 am

this is pretty much all i could find on him...

Code: Select all

http://youtube.com/watch?v=VeKHt5RTSho#

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Re: Frank Swift

Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:22 pm

I never saw him play, of course, but from what older family members recall he was a great keeper and rightly City fans hold in him in as high esteem as we do Schmeicel. He was probably the greatest English keepers these shores have produced and that is saying a lot when you also consider Banks, Shilton, Clemence and other great keepers over the years. He is rightly included in this commemoration. I just wish we could find out more about him.

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Re: Frank Swift

Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:04 pm

As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

Aragorn

Re: Frank Swift

Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:54 pm

kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

Munich is about all 23, irrespective of club or vocation

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Re: Frank Swift

Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:06 pm

Well said Graham and welcome to our football site Kippax. We are here to talk football, with a United edge of course, but football.

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Re: Frank Swift

Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:17 am

Aragorn wrote:
kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

Munich is about all 23, irrespective of club or vocation


Well, said that is what it is all about. Thanks for a great read on great man Dante. ;)

Welcome Kippax. ;)

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Re: Frank Swift

Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:23 pm

Frank Swift 19 caps

Date Opponents Comp Venue Scr Res Scorers Att

1 28/09/1946 Northern Ireland Home Championship Belfast 7-2 W Raich Carter, Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion 3, Tommy Lawton, Bobby Langton 57,111 details

2 30/09/1946 Republic of Ireland International Friendly Dublin 1-0 W Tom Finney 32,000 details

3 19/10/1946 Wales Home Championship Maine Road 3-0 W Wilf Mannion 2, Tommy Lawton 59,121 details

4 27/11/1946 Holland International Friendly Huddersfield 8-2 W Tommy Lawton 4, Raich Carter 2, Wilf Mannion, Tom Finney 32,435 details

5 12/04/1947 Scotland Home Championship Wembley 1-1 D Raich Carter 98,200 details

6 03/05/1947 France International Friendly Highbury 3-0 W Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion, Raich Carter 54,389 details

7 18/05/1947 Switzerland International Friendly Zurich 0-1 L 34,000 details

8 27/05/1947 Portugal International Friendly Lisbon 10-0 W Tommy Lawton 4, Stan Mortensen 4, Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews 65,000 details

9 21/09/1947 Belgium International Friendly Brussels 5-2 W Tommy Lawton 2, Stan Mortensen, Tom Finney 2 54,326 details

10 18/10/1947 Wales Home Championship Ninian Park 3-0 W Tom Finney, Stan Mortensen, Tommy Lawton 55,000 details

11 05/11/1947 Northern Ireland Home Championship Goodison Park 2-2 D Wilf Mannion, Tommy Lawton 67,980 details

12 19/11/1947 Sweden International Friendly Highbury 4-2 W Stan Mortensen 3, Tommy Lawton (pen) 44,282 details

13 10/04/1948 Scotland Home Championship Hampden Park 2-0 W Stan Mortensen, Tom Finney 135,376 details

14 16/05/1948 Italy International Friendly Turin 4-0 W Tom Finney 2, Tommy Lawton, Stan Mortensen 58,000 details

15 26/09/1948 Denmark International Friendly Copenhagen 0-0 D 41,000 details

16 09/10/1948 Northern Ireland Home Championship Windsor Park 6-2 W Stan Mortensen 3, Jackie Milburn, Stanley Matthews, Stan Pearson 53,629 details

17 10/11/1948 Wales Home Championship Villa Park 1-0 W Tom Finney 67,770 details

18 09/04/1949 Scotland Home Championship Wembley 1-3 L Jackie Milburn 98,188 details

19 18/05/1949 Norway International Friendly Oslo 4-1 W John Morris, Tom Finney, Jimmy Mullen, o.g 36,000 details

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Re: Frank Swift

Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:02 pm

Aragorn wrote:
kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

Munich is about all 23, irrespective of club or vocation
Well said, Aragorn. ;)

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liz jomaa
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Re: Frank Swift

Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:04 pm

thank you kippax....anything else you have on him would be greatly appreciated by all who read it.

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Dante
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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:38 am

Thanks for that Kippax.
Image

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Re: Frank Swift

Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:31 pm

Thanks Kippax ;)

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:09 pm

kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

why dont you respect this man at games then ?

why do you sing munich songs every game ?

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:10 pm

jcl1999 wrote:
kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

why dont you respect this man at games then ?

why do you sing munich songs every game ?
why do you bother to drag up a 13 month old post ?

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:14 pm

Ronaldo07 wrote:
jcl1999 wrote:
kippax_blueboy wrote:As a City fan, I am pleased you are rightly commemorating Frank Swift on your site.

why dont you respect this man at games then ?

why do you sing munich songs every game ?
why do you bother to drag up a 13 month old post ?

ive just realised when it was posted

18 replies in a year

wow

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:16 pm

Yeah, it's rocking. :roll:

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Re: Frank Swift

Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:18 pm

As outspoken as JCL is on these forums from time to time, he asks a very relevant question to City supporters regarding Frank Swift...

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