Frank Soo: Google Doodle honours the incredible story of England’s forgotten footballer

Soo became the first and only player of Asian descent to represent England when he played against Wales in a wartime friendly on this day in 1942

Saturday 09 May 2020 14:15
Comments
Frank Soo has been honoured with a Google Doodle
Frank Soo has been honoured with a Google Doodle

England’s first non-white player has been honoured by Google on the anniversary of his debut appearance for his country.

Frank Soo, whose father was Chinese, became the first and only player of Asian descent to represent England when he played against Wales in a wartime friendly back in 1942.

Now Google, working alongside the Frank Soo Foundation, have created a Doodle to honour his memory and celebrate the legacy he left for footballers in the generations since.

Soo, often known as England’s forgotten footballer, went on to make nine international appearances – although none were recognised as official caps during the Second World War - while at club level played alongside and captained Stanley Matthews at Stoke City

He would go on to Leicester City where he was again made club captain before leaving for a successful spell at Luton. He retired in 1950 after two seasons at Chelmsford City.

His post-playing career saw him leave England for Italy at first where he managed Serie A side Padova before a lengthy stay in Scandinavia.

Soo coached at a number of clubs as well as leading the Norwegian national team at the 1952 Olympic Games. He eventually returned to this country where he died in 1991 aged 76.

Google have honoured Frank Soo

Soo’s great-niece Jacqui didn’t meet him until he was 66, but she says he was still an inspiration long after his playing days were over.

“He never drank and he never smoked, he made a point of telling us that,” she told Sky Sports. “Then he dropped to the floor and began to do a load of press-ups.

“He was clapping between them and then doing them with one hand. It was amazing. My friends still talk about it to this day.”

She hopes Google’s gesture sparks more interest in her great-uncle.

“It is fantastic that Google are choosing to honour him now,” she added. “I hope it will spark an interest in him again and get him back in the public eye because kids need a role model.”

Marketing Director at Google UK Nishma Robb added: “Saturday would have been a big day for football had the teams been playing. Liverpool should have been celebrating winning the league and Frank’s old team Leicester City would have been playing Spurs.

“In the absence of the beautiful game, we hope his home city, and the fans from his former clubs, especially his beloved Stoke City, will take a moment to remember Frank Soo, England’s forgotten footballer, the first and only player of Asian heritage to have ever played for his country, and a man who showed the world the unifying power of sport.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in