NewsAcademy column: Reds pay tribute to Ian Frodsham with memorial tournament

By Phil Charnock


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In our latest Academy column, U12s coach Phil Charnock tells us about a special tournament that took place in memory of the much missed Ian Frodsham.

The football season may be over for our men's, women's, U18 and U21 sides, but for the younger element at the Academy it's business as usual and we continue with the football.

Last weekend we had a very special tournament that took place in Kirkby as we held the Ian Frodsham Memorial Tournament.

Ian was a very, very special footballer and person and anybody that came into contact with him will never forget him. We will never forget him at the Academy and his memory will always live on.

We are conscious that a lot of people who walk through the doors at the Academy will always see the Ian Frodsham indoor arena, but a lot of people probably don't know his story.

We have had a mural put up now as you walk through the doors, which Steve Heighway penned the words for. Steve, along with Hughie McAuley, Dave Shannon and Frank Skelly, all loved Ian and they played a big part in his footballing journey until it was sadly all taken away far too soon.

Every year the school always have a tournament in his name and they come to the Academy to take part in that. As an academy, we wanted to do something special in Ian's memory, and we felt it was only fitting and right to do that.

He is still close to a lot of people's hearts who are still at the club, like myself, Mike Yates, Bavo [Ian Dunbavin], Jon Newby and Dave [Shannon].

We get asked a lot about what Ian was like; well, we had a talk with our boys before the tournament and, I suppose, as a club ambition - unity, dignity and commitment - Ian would excel in all those areas. That was Ian. He was passionate, committed, he had character and as a player he would run all day and wouldn't be scared of putting a foot in against anybody.

I remember when Ian was training with a few of the first-team players and Ronnie Moran would say to Steve to ask him to calm down a little bit and be careful with the tackles, but that was Ian, he was so committed. He didn't care who it was he was up against, he just wanted to be the best player.

Ian had pretty much everything as a player, I thought, and I had the joy of playing with him. I know this is easy to say in hindsight, but I think he would have made it at Liverpool. If I look back at the attributes he had, Ian could go past players, he could score goals, he was reasonably quick, a box-to-box player, he was competitive and he could defend. Having spoken to a few of the coaches - and in my own eyes as well - there's no doubt in most people's minds that he would have played for our first team given that chance.

As for the football itself, we had two teams competing, with the U12s led by myself and Mike Yates took the U13s. We had teams visiting from Scotland, a team from Cyprus, a team from Budapest, Connah's Quay and Jersey.

Our U13s won the Ian Frodsham Memorial Tournament, which was quite fitting, and they beat Rangers 4-1 in the final. Our U12s group also did well and we reached the semi-finals only to lose on penalties to Rangers.

It was a hot couple of days, it was tough, but it was a fitting tribute to Ian the way all the boys conducted themselves.

We were also delighted to welcome Ian's mother, Lynn, to the Academy and we presented her with a special shirt with 'Frodsham 8' on it. Lynn came with Ian's sister and brother and her grandson. We showed them the mural with the little piece Steve has written and it was really emotional.

I think it's a testament to Ian, the way he was as a person, not just a footballer, that we are still thinking about him and will continue to do and respect his memory at this football club.

Ian Frodsham, YNWA

Phil Charnock was speaking with's Steve Hunter



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