May 12, 2020

Frank Sweeney RIP

Frank Sweeney. (back row, second from left)

We have been saddened to learn of the passing of former 1950s winger, Frank Sweeney, this week, aged 86.

Frank Sweeney was one of our oldest surviving past players and passed away on 4th May 2020 after a short illness. He arrived at Belle Vue in December 1951, as an eighteen year old, from the Allerton Bywater Junior club in Castleford and made his debut, on the wing, a month later, in the home game with Warrington (5th January 1952). They defeated ‘The Wire’ that day 15-0 and he lined up alongside future Trinity Hall of Famers, Don Robinson and Harry Murphy, with future England centre, Don Froggett as his centre. He would play another four games that season, scoring his first try in an 18-7 win over Bramley two months later.

There were some top line wingers in the Trinity ranks in this era and Frank was more than happy to represent Trinity in the A-team and was part of the squad that won the league and cup double in 1951-52. He scored the winning try in the Championship semi final win over Halifax ‘A’ in April 1952 and was then on the wing as they defeated Huddersfield ‘A’ in the final, 24-12, at Belle Vue.

He would only play another seven first team games over the next four seasons but was still a regular in the A-team as they completed another league and cup double in 1955-56. Frank scored again in the semi final and twice in the final as they defeated York ‘A’ 31-0. Two of his three quarter partners that day were Fred Smith and Neil Fox.

His final first team match in the red, white and blue was a 15-19 defeat at Huddersfield, on 18th April 1956, a day Neil Fox remembers fondly as he was selected at full back for the only time in his career! He was also accompanied by Trinity legends Don Froggett, Keith Holliday and Ken Rollin in the backline at Fartown

Frank was always proud of his Trinity days and playing for Trinity was one of the highlights of his life, where he always played with pride. He finished with three tries from his eleven games but also gained his four winners medals from the A-team. He was awarded a heritage number of 597

Everyone at the club sends its sincerest condolences to Frank’s family and friends.