Sixty years ago saw the death of Frank Monk, who many consider one of the best footballers that this part of the country has produced.

Frank was appointed a junior master at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in 1903 and he was a fine, all-round athlete.

Indeed, his name was a by-word so far as sport, and particularly football, was concerned – it is often said that he was the best footballer the school ever produced.

In the 1910/1911 season Frank joined Southampton of the Southern League, on amateur terms and, although his teaching commitments prevented him from playing regularly for the “Saints”, he managed 19 league appearances. He also won four amateur caps for England.

In the summer of 1912, his teaching career took him away from Southampton, which brought his brief excursion into professional football to an end.

One man who saw Frank Monk play and who admired him as a footballer and athlete was Mr Leslie Snook.

Before he died, Mr Snook wrote: “He was a hero of my boyhood days. I often used to watch his match-winning play for Salisbury City Football Club. I recall my father taking me to see Frank winning a quasi-marathon race which started and ended at Victoria Park. I believe the distance was about twenty miles.”

Mr Snook also recalled that some time previous to the race in which Frank Monk took part, a full international marathon race was run entirely on the park’s quarter-mile track.

He said: “It was won by an American, but the hero of the day in the eyes of the crowd who watched the field of well-known runners was a soldier from Bulford Camp. He led for approximately the first eighteen miles. Alas, he was then given a very stiff alcoholic stimulant which made him as ‘tight-as-a-tick’ a couple of miles later!”

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