Frank Soo Celebrating 90 years since his debut for Stoke City FC

90 years since Stoke Legend Frank Soo debuted, making him the first person from a East or South East Asian Background to play in the Football League

Frank Soo.

On 4th November 1933, Frank Soo made his debut for Stoke City FC against Middlesborough. Between 1933-1945, Frank went on to make 268 appearances*, scored 20 goals, and he was part of the great Stoke City team of the 1930s, alongside Joe Mercer, Neil Franklin and Sir Stanley Mathews.

He is a bonafide Stoke City legend with a street already named after him in Stoke-On-Trent. Frank was the first person of East Asian heritage to play in the Football League, the first person of colour to play for England (9 Wartime and Victory friendly appearances) and first person of East Asian heritage to manage in Europe.

The celebrations of this momentous achievement kicks off with the Stoke on Trent Council inducting Frank Soo into the Cities Sporting Hall of Fame.

He joins Stoke legends such as Sir Stanley Matthews, Gordon Banks, Angela Smith and Phil Taylor to name a few. On the 4th November 2023, Stoke City FC will play Cardiff City where a tribute will be made at half time to celebrate 90 years since Frank’s debut. Soo's family members will be at the match and a half time presentation is planned.

"After 90 years of his first game for Stoke, a football team he was proud to be a part of playing alongside Sir Stanley Matthews, he has finally gained recognition. He was always a true professional and dedicated to football and fitness.

He is a constant source of pride to his extended family and we hope that his legacy will go on to inspire future generations of boys and girls from East and South East Asian backgrounds to play football."

Jacqui Soo, Great Niece & Hon. President of the Frank Soo Foundation “The addition of Frank Soo to the hall of fame is a fitting tribute and a great way to ensure that his story lives on. Stoke City is seeking to be as inclusive to people from all backgrounds as we can possibly be, celebrating and welcoming diversity within our fanbase, our community and our club. Even all these years on from his debut and resulting career, Frank's achievements remain inspirational in that regard and his legacy is something to be cherished and preserved."

Simon King, Stoke City’s Chief Operating Officer. "We are delighted to see Frank Soo and his achievements recognised in Stoke, a city in which he had such a positive impact. Frank is an inspiration, and his story is not as widely known as it should be. His induction into the Stoke-on-Trent Sporting Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to a giant of English football. It is also fantastic to see that Stoke City's tradition of East and South East Asian players continues today, with Joon-Ho Bae arriving at the club in the summer after starring in the K-League."

Maxwell Min, of The Frank Soo Foundation adds "We have worked with the Frank Soo Foundation for a number of years and it has been a huge encouragement to see the team not only tell Frank's story but to use that story to inspire so many other people."

"Frank Soo is an important figure within British football and the Foundation which bears his name is carrying on his legacy in an impressive and impactful way," Paul Harbinson, The Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation.


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