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Frank O’Farrell started work on the Railway at 16, the first steps towards his ambition as a railway driver. He had captained the Christ The King gaelic football team to school victories at the same time as he had commenced schoolboy soccer with Nicholas Rovers.

He subsequently played minor soccer with Clapton Celtic and Western Rovers and in 1947 Cork Utd. signed Frank to replace Tommy Moroney, who had joined West Ham. With Cork Utd he received the best possible soccer education as he played alongside stars such as Owen Madden, Seanie McCarthy, Florrie Burke and Davy Noonan and was paid £3 a week for the pleasure.

It was then that his ambition of becoming a train driver ended as he set sail instead on the Inisfallen to begin a career with West Ham. It took Frank a while to adjust to the pace of the professional game and whilst learning his football trade at Upton Park, he was selected on the Football Combination League team which played the Brussels League. Eventually Frank captained West Ham and became another star graduate of their famous Academy which produced a generation of Football Managers, including Malcolm Allison, Malcolm Musgrove, Noel Cantwell, Ken Browne, Jimmy Andrews, Dave Sexton and John Bond.

Frank collected his first cap in 1952 when he played on the side trounced 6-0 by Austria in Vienna. Frank was there again for the return and scored one of the goals in a tremendous 4-0 victory, truly exorcising the Ghosts of Vienna. He won a total of nine caps the last being against Czechoslovakia in 1959 when he was a Preston player.

Managing Manchester United and following the legendary Matt Busby, was an awesome task only manged by Alex Ferguson.


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