Frank Worthington [1948-2021]

It is with great sadness that Bolton Wanderers Football Club has today learned about the passing of our former player, Frank Worthington.

One of the game’s greatest entertainers, Frank became a cult hero at Burnden Park during the late 1970s.

Hailing from a football family – older brothers Dave and Bob played league football - Frank was a flamboyant centre-forward.

He turned professional with Huddersfield Town in November 1966 and made 171 League appearances for the Terriers, scoring 42 goals and helping them win the Second Division Championship in 1970 under Ian Greaves.

In August 1972 he moved to Leicester City for £80,000, and it was while at Filbert Street that he won his eight full England caps, along with under 23 and Football League honours.

Liverpool almost took him to Anfield but he didn’t pass a medical, and his next move was to the Wanderers, on loan, in September 1977 after 72 goals in 210 League games for Leicester.

Frank scored on his Wanderers debut against Stoke City at Burnden Park and was signed permanently for a club record £90,000 by his former Huddersfield boss Ian Greaves.

He helped the club win the Second Division Championship in 1978, scoring the winning goal at Blackburn Rovers that secured promotion, and the following season he was the leading scorer in the First Division.

His spectacular televised goal against Ipswich Town at Burnden in 1979 won the Goal Of The Season award.

Worthington spent the summer of 1979 with Philadelphia Fury in the North American Soccer League.

He returned to Wanderers and played his final game for the club in a scoreless home draw with Arsenal and in October 1979 joined Birmingham City for £150,000.

He was top scorer at St Andrew’s and had summer loan spells with Mjallby and Tampa Bay Rowdies before joining Leeds United in 1982 for £100,000.

He later spent time with Sunderland, Brighton, Tranmere – where he became player-manager – Preston North End and Stockport County.

At 60 years old, Frank made a welcome appearance at the Reebok Stadium in Jussi Jaaskelainen’s testimonial legends game in August 2009.

Frank scored a total of 38 goals from 92 appearances during his time with Wanderers.

The thoughts and prayers from everybody connected with Bolton Wanderers Football Club are with Frank’s family and friends at this time.

Thank you for the memories, Frankie. Forever in our hearts.

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