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A Frank Swift treasure trove

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A lucky Wembley hat!

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A lucky Wembley hat!

Frank Swift was undoubtedly a Manchester City legend.

The ‘gentle giant’ of a goalkeeper with hands as big as steam shovels represented the Blues proudly from 1932 to 1949, with the Second World War interrupting his tenure.

READ: Blue Peter, Peter Barnes, Peterborough and Shep the dog!

READ: From the archives: Disaster at Hyde Road

Swift played 376 times for the Blues and won 19 England caps, later becoming a journalist.

Frank tragically died on the Manchester United team plane returning from Munich in 1958 with eight United players among the 23 souls lost in the disaster.

Our archives team have unearthed a couple of Swift gems - letters from 1945 to 1946,

TALK TO FRANK: Frank Swift's letter thanking his friend - lovely handwriting!

First up, we have a handwritten letter from Frank to his friend and journalist Roy Peskett at the Daily Mail.

Roy was instrumental in organising Frank and his wife Doris to spend the summer of 1946 in Larvik, Norway.

Frank was on a coaching course - which was attributed to the FA and Stanley Rous who sent numerous British footballers to Norway to help their recuperation after the trauma of the Second World War.

On the course, Frank was learning how to become a professional coach.

This letter is informing Peskett how he was getting on and thanking him for all his arrangements.

It’s a wonderful insight into part of Frank's career which has rarely been seen and this letter has not been published previously.

Secondly, there is a fascinating two-page itinerary and envelope, produced by the Football Association for the "Services XI Tour of Ireland 13-18 September 1945”.

LETTER FROM THE F.A: Listing Frank and future City boss Joe Mercer

It was sent to Frank Swift by secretary Stanley Rous.

It lists all the selected players, officials, programme, dress code, playing kit, fees and expenses, insurance, travel itinerary and additional arrangements.

This itinerary has been hand signed by J Barker, Frank's Commanding Officer of the Manchester Technical Training Corp, who gave permission for Frank to go on leave.

This was an unofficial England tour for the Victory Shield, and they played Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast.

England won the game with Stan Mortensen's single goal.

Do you have a Peter Barnes Trainer in your loft? Or a rare photograph in your garage? If you have any rare City treasures you'd like to share with the Club - we'd like to hear from you! 

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