Player profile

Frank Becton

Birthdate: 28 October 1873
Birthplace: Preston, England
Date of death: 6 November 1909
Other clubs: Fishwick Ramblers (1889-91), Preston North End (1891-95), Sheffield United (1898-99), Bedminster (1899-1900), Preston North End (2 / 1900-01), Swindon Town (1901-03), Nelson (1903), Ashton Town (1903-04), Oldham Athletic (1904)
Bought from: Preston North End
Signed for LFC: £200, 18.03.1895
International debut: 09.03.1895 vs. Ireland
International caps: 2/2 (1/0 at LFC) - 29.03.1897
Liverpool debut: 25.03.1895
Last appearance: 16.04.1898
Debut goal: 25.03.1895
Last goal: 16.04.1898
Contract expiry: 7 October 1898
Win ratio: 47.67% W: 41 D: 17 L: 28
Games/goals ratio: 2.05
Honours: Second Division 1895/96
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 5 / 3
LFC league games/goals: 70 / 38
Total LFC games/goals: 86 / 42

Player profile

Becton joined the famous Preston North End team that had won the title in the first two seasons of the Football League, earning the nickname "The Invincibles". Becton joined Preston in 1891, but never won the League with the Deepdale club, which finished runners-up three seasons running from 1891-1893 before sliding down the League ladder. His best season was 1892/93 when he was top-scorer at the club with 25 goals in the League and cup. Incidentally Becton scored when second division Liverpool famously knocked Preston out of the FA Cup on 10 February 1894. Becton netted twice on his international debut in a 9-0 win over Ireland on 9 March 1895 but then shocked his employers by demanding a hefty pay rise. He claimed Aston Villa, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers were interested in his services. Preston sold him for quite a substantial sum of £100 to Liverpool. He scored four goals from only five appearances by the end of that season but could not prevent Liverpool's relegation. However, Becton, George Allan and Jimmy Ross scored a total of 66 goals as Liverpool bounced straight back into the top-flight. 

On Liverpool's return to the top division Becton got into serious trouble with Liverpool's management when he failed to turn up for training in October 1896. He was instantly relegated to the reserves, having played regularly up to that point, and matters went as far as Liverpool wanting to sell him for his insubordination. A possible move to Aston Villa fell through and in the end the player and club settled their differences and Becton returned to the first team in December.

Becton played two years with Liverpool in the First Division before finally moving to League Champions Sheffield United in 1898. The champions were struggling in the League but won the FA Cup before finishing second in the League the following season. Becton moved back to Preston in the 1900/01 season but the glory days were all gone at Deepdale and as his local club was relegated he joined Swindon Town in the Southern league. He was instrumental in keeping Swindon in division one as he scored two goals in the test match at the end of his first season. He stayed another year and scored a total of 15 goals in 60 games.

Frank's brothers, Martin and Tom, were both professional footballers and played for Preston North End as well. Frank died of tuberculosis only 36 years old on 6 November 1909.

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals701200486
1894-1895 500005
1895-1896 24200430
1896-1897 20500025
1897-1898 21500026
1898-1899 000000

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
5Derby
5Preston North End
5WBA
5Sheffield Wednesday
4Notts County
4Wolves
4Nottingham Forest
4Stoke City
4Manchester United
4Bury
3Aston Villa
3Everton
3Bolton Wanderers
3Burton Swifts
2Burton Wanderers
2Darwen
2Blackburn Rovers
2Birmingham City
2Grimsby Town
2Leicester City
2Burnley
2Lincoln City
2Sunderland
2Sheffield United
2Newcastle United
1Arsenal
1Manchester City
1Crewe
1Port Vale
1Millwall
1Loughborough
1Hucknall St Johns
1Rotherham Town
TotalCompetition
70League
12FA Cup
4Test Match

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals38400042
1894-1895 400004
1895-1896 18100019
1896-1897 510006
1897-1898 11200013
1898-1899 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalCompetition
38League
4FA Cup
TotalOpen play/Penalty
39Open play
3Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Becton is in various LFC sources said to be born on 11 May 1873 which is incorrect. No entry for that date of birth exists at the General Record Office. In the 1891 Census, a Frank Becton (born abt 1874) appears with his parents Martin and Margaret. This traces to the birth certificate of a Francis BECTIF - listed in the last quarter of the 1873. GRO index. Illiteracy probably explains this anomaly. His actual date of birth was 28 October 1873. + Said to have finished his career at New Brighton Tower, but he didn't leave Swindon until 1903 by which time New Brighton Tower had folded. After Ashton Town he signed for Oldham. Contributed by Paul Plowman (Swindon Town FC Historian).

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
125.03.1895SunderlandAnfieldLeague
5016.01.1897Stoke CityAnfieldLeague

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
17025.03.1895SunderlandAnfieldLeague

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The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
1894-1895 * Striker
1895-1896 * Striker
1896-1897 * Striker
1897-1898 * Striker
1898-1899 * Striker
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

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