Frank Franken and Tony Franken

Vale Frank Franken

Former Western Australian State team goalkeeper Frank Franken, the father of ex-Socceroos and national goalkeeping coach Tony Franken, has passed away just a few weeks short of his 86th birthday.

Frank was born in Holland in 1935 and came to Australia in 1951. He showed considerable goalkeeping skills as a teenager and was snapped up by Cottesloe when he was 18. He went on to play for Caledonian, North Perth and East Fremantle Tricolore, winning many trophies along the way, including the three-in-a-row league title feat by Tricolore in 1965.

Frank made his WA State debut as a 21-year-old in 1956 against an Australian X1, which won 4-1 at Bayswater Oval. He missed out on adding to his representative honours list when he had to be overlooked for a game against Eastern Athletic in 1957 because of a broken finger. But he was back between the posts for WA when Scottish side Hearts came to Perth three years later.

East Fremantle Tricolore

Frank’s son Tony followed in the goalkeeping family tradition when he played as a junior with Tricolore, before accepting an offer of a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Tony went on to play in the NSL with various clubs, including Sydney Croatia and Parramata Eagles before finishing his playing career with Perth Glory. Tony played 14 times for Australia and is currently the Socceroos goalkeeping coach.

Frank’s grandson, Jordan, is also a goalkeeper of note, having play with Perth Glory’s youth team and with several teams in the eastern states. Jordan accompanied his grandfather when Frank was one of the guests of honour at a Tricolore re-union in 2015.

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