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Frank Buckley

Major Frank Buckley - click for larger image  Major Frank Buckley - click for larger image

Born 09 Nov 1883, Urmston (England)
DiedDec 1964
In Charge May 1948 - Apr 1953
Honours Won None

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Frank Buckley acquired his rank of Major after fighting in the Boer War and World War I in the 17th Middlesex Regiment, where he commanded a battalion made up of soccer professionals. His playing career before the war had spanned many clubs - Aston Villa, Brighton, Birmingham, Derby, Bradford City and both Manchester clubs, and he won a single England cap against Ireland in 1914.

After the war, he was appointed manager at Norwich and then Blackpool, but it was at Wolverhampton Wanderers - who he joined in 1927 - that he really made his reputation. He developed an excellent youth policy and dragged Wolves from the brink of relegation to Division 3 up to the heights of Division 1, and also making it to the FA Cup Final. After 17 years at Molineux, he finally moved on and had brief spells at Notts County and Hull City before taking over at Leeds in 1948.

Buckley was best known for two things. His innovation on the training ground saw the players being trained by dancers to improve flexibility and balance, and a mechanical device that spat out footballs at various angles was used to improve the keeper's ability. But it was his bizarre belief in the properties of a monkey-gland injection that he asked his players to take, thinking it would improve their mental abilities.

Buckley developed a good youth policy, and kept the team ticking over in Division 2, despite the lack of money and overdraft. He'll be long remembered by Leeds fans for his greatest discovery: towards the end of his first season in charge he signed a young Welshman by the name of John Charles. But despite the great man's presence, promotion never came, and Buckley stepped down at the age of 72.


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