Frank McLintock; brought in by Wright after success at Leicester

Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  New info on publication dateUpdated information here

When Arsenal and Fulham were within moments of merging into one club… full details in “Making the Arsenal”


By Tony Attwood

Frank McLintock, our player of the year, and footballer of the year, during the Double season, was brought up in the poorest part of Glasgow, and played for Shawfield before joining Leicester in 1957 as a midfield player. (Shawfield only lasted a few years after Frank, and were disbanded in 1960).

Leicester reached the cup final and came fourth in the 1st division in 1962/3 – just about their best ever season.  In fact Frank played in two Leicester cup final sides (1961losing to Tottenham, 1963 losing to Man U) but won the League cup final in 1964 beating Stoke over two legs.

He played for Leicester 168 times in the league, initially in mid-field, and also broke into the Scotland team before joining Arsenal in 1964 for the club record of £80,000.  He was thus a clear case of Billy Wright buying experience to try and beef up the team – although it didn’t work at once with Arsenal coming 13th and 14th in his first two seasons.

Season Manager League games Goals
1964/5 Wright 25 2
1965/6 Wright 36 2
1966/7 Mee 40 9
1967/8 Mee 38 4
1968/9 Mee 37 1
1969/70 Mee 30 0
1970/1 Mee 42 5
1971/2 Mee 37 3
1972/3 Mee 27 0
 League totals:   312 26

Frank became the club captain in 1967, played in the two league cup final defeats in 1968 and 1969, and handed in a transfer request after the second loss.

But he stayed and was captain of the Fairs Cup win, and the Double and of the defeated 1972 cup side, and captain of the runners’ up team in 1973 before moving to QPR.   Adding in cup games he played  403 matches for Arsenal, scoring 32 goals.

He played 127 league games for QPR over four years, coming second in 1976, retiring one year later.  He was awarded the MBE in 1972.  He also got nine Scottish caps.

Immediately on retiring he joined Leicester as manager  in 1977, but Leicester ended up bottom of the league that season and were relegated.  After that one season he stayed out of management until 1984 when he managed Brentford for three years in the third division – the club remained in mid-table throughout.

In 1987/8 he was part of the coaching team at Millwall as they won the second division under John Docherty following the departure of George Graham.    Millwall were top of the league on 1 October 1988 with Tony Cascarino and Teddy Sheringham in the team.

Amazingly Millwall survived in the first division, but with the club bottom of the 1st division in 1990 he was sacked along with the manager as Millwall brought in Bruce Rioch.

Frank has since worked as an after dinner speaker, and a TV and radio pundit, and has been inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.


The Bertie Mee Decade

John Radford, king of goal scorers

Peter Simpson: one club three managers

George Armstrong – signed by Swindin, a lifelong servant of Arsenal

The players who made it for Mee but were signed by Wright: – Bob Wilson

The Prelude: When 4,554 turned up to watch Arsenal and a reign ended

Swindin, Wright, Mee: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

Bertie – the life and times: The trophies, ballroom dancing, left hook and OBE

The First Double: a series of five quizzes to test your knowledge on 1971









6 Replies to “Frank McLintock; brought in by Wright after success at Leicester”

  1. Frank missed out on the 1964 League Cup final win with Leicester. He was beginning to think he was something of a Jonha by 1969 having been played in four losing cup final teams. Thankfully he stuck it out at Arsenal.

  2. What a fine player and one that Arsenal got rid of at least a season too early.
    My great remembrance is travelling down from my to be wifes family outside Newcastle and stopping at Leicester to see Arsenal play the home team the year before Frank’s transfer. It was 3-2 I think to Arsenal but Frank had the finest game I ever saw him play scoring both Leicester goals and playing box to box like a truly great footballer. The Arsenal fans know when a player is giving his all and Frank M always did that,

    Mike C

  3. I thought it a bit odd the way Arsenal moved Frank on to QPR. I think it was straight swap deal in which we got Terry (Henry) Mancini. One ageing but class centre half for another ageing but average centre half. The pub he took over was long gone The Sutton Arms in Caledonian Road now a restaurant I believe.

  4. McLintock was replaced by Jeff Blockley. I think that Mee thought that McLintock was getting too old. He wanted to freshen up the double-winning team and the obvious way to start was to get rid of the older players first. It was a big mistake. Blockley regularly appears in “Arsenal’s worst XI”-type articles. Blockley was replaced by Mancini.

  5. Frank played every League game (42) in the Double season according to the stats above. Just as well, as the squad was made up of only 17 players, and if he were to be injured at the same time as Peter Simpson, what a problem that would have been. John Roberts was the only other centre-back in the squad.
    On that note (excuse the slight digression) I was a little surprised that Roberts played as many games as he did that season – according to stats I was working through only a few days ago it seems he made approx 19 appearances. I actually didn’t miss a home game that season, and saw half of the away games, and I would have guessed he made only 9 or 10 appearances. My memory obviously is not what it was. Considering we lost only 5 games (I think) that season (League and FA Cup combined), maybe with hindsight Roberts was actually a better player than some might remember. Hmmm.

  6. Peter Simpson was injured from the start of the season, until nearly Christmas. John Roberts therefore had a continuous run in the side.

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