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The news of the passing of Frank Doran has saddened everyone connected with City of Liverpool FC. On behalf of all connected with the club, the Directors pass on deepest condolences to the Doran family at this most difficult of times.
We are especially thinking of Lena, Joseph and Olivia, who we know personally, on the loss of their Dad and Grandad. We also extend sincere sympathies to Frank’s extended football family at his beloved Bootle FC and beyond.
Football can divide us, but the game also has a massive ability to unite us. It is through football, and his position right at the heart of the game’s community in Merseyside, that most of us have had the honour and pleasure of getting to know Frank.
To our older supporters, young at heart like Frank, he is the Langton player. For most of us, he is the unmistakeable and ever-present figure laughing, joking and winding us up whenever we entered Bootle’s ground.
It is common knowledge that we have experienced a strong footballing rivalry with Bootle FC. That is how it should be, we are both local clubs competing to go as far as we can in non-league football. Frank, as the embodiment of Bootle Football Club, played a massive part in that rivalry and he carried it off with a wit and an authority that made all who met him respect him to the full.
We didn’t know Frank as long as other people, obviously, but in the 5 or 6 years we did know him, we found him to be an absolutely great feller.
The City of Liverpool FC twitter feed praised Frank as a “a man’s man in the truest sense of the word”. He could always be found in our volunteers’ hut before our home games. Frank would take a seat, settle in, get his cup of tea, then would have us in stitches as he tore us apart for just about everything.
Laughing about one of our defeats or writing off one of our wins as “lucky”, reminding us “you haven’t even got a ground” and ending with “when are you moving out?” Week after week for four seasons! We will miss those pre-match visits and those laughs.
Literally any day you turned up at Bootle’s ground, be it a matchday or any other day of the week, Frank would be there, pottering around doing a variety of jobs. He still travelled to most, if not all, of Bootle’s away games and standing around waiting for his lift in the Car Park (usually meaning a Purps’ home game) was yet another opportunity to give and take some stick with the great man.
Frank would take our abuse of his beloved Bootle FC on the chin, chuckling away, before shooting back with something else about COLFC – he was sharp as a needle, even at his advanced years. We should all pray that we are in his kind of physical and mental shape into our 9th decade – he was unbelievable.
Frank told us about his difficult start in life growing up in Huyton and his days as a Docker, as well as of the run-ins he’d had with every individual or football club he come up against in his 70 years in football. He was no fan of league or match officials either, he let them have it with both barrels when he felt it necessary. By comparison, COLFC got off lightly!
Of course, while the whole of Merseyside football will mourn and miss Frank Doran, this is a devastating loss for the Doran family. We hope it is of comfort to them to know that Frank will be fondly remembered as a legendary figure in the local amateur and Non-League football scene and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
With Love From City of Liverpool Football Club