Leicester City In 100 Players: Frank McLintock
Glasgow-born Frank is one of only five City players to be inducted into the English Football’s Hall of Fame, along with Don Revie, Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton and Gary Lineker. Spotted while playing semi-professionally for Glasgow-based Shawfield Juniors, he came to Leicester as a 16 year-old.
As he was working as a painter and decorator, he could only train two nights a week, but in September 1959, aged 19, he made his first team debut at right-half at Blackpool and was Man of the Match. Despite having a medial ligament operation in his first season, he became an established first team player.
In his second season, City finished sixth in the old First Division and reached the FA Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, when, playing for most of the game with only 10 fit men, Leicester lost 2-0.
Frank McLintock in action for the Foxes.
In 1961/62, he played in all of the Foxes' games in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Later that season, he became a Scotland Under-23s international. A year on, his non-stop high energy performances made him a key member of the famous ‘Ice Kings’ side.
He was part of a tactical innovation which saw him interchange positions during games, with Graham Cross, and the side came close to winning the league and cup double, finishing fourth and losing the FA Cup final to Manchester United.
He won his first Scotland cap in June 1963. Later that month, he earned two more caps and scored his first international goal. In all three games, he played alongside his City team-mate Davie Gibson. An injury towards the end of the 1963/64 season meant that Frank missed out on the League Cup final when Leicester won the trophy by defeating Stoke City.
Frank McLintock, back row, first on the right, alongside his Leicester City team-mates.
In September 1964, Arsenal paid a club record fee of £80,000 to take Frank to Highbury. As Arsenal’s captain, and by now playing at centre-back, Frank won the European Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1970 and the League and FA Cup double in 1971.
He moved Queens Park Rangers in June 1973, where he came close to winning another league title, missing out by one point to Liverpool in 1976. Frank was appointed as Leicester City’s manager in July 1977, but he left Filbert Street later that season with the side doomed to relegation.
Despite this disappointing time as a manager, Frank should always be remembered for his star performances for the Club between 1959 and 1964.
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