In Memory of Frank Adey... 

Frank Adey was a lover of sport in general. It was his dream, vision and ambition which set up Little League Football in the U.K but besides his love for football, only those who were privileged to have worked with Frank or knew him on a personal level would know that Baseball was once his past time, but not many would know he was a boxer during his youth!


On Saturday 14th December 1935 at The Stadium Club, High Holborn Frank Adey (from Camberwell, South London) was a finalist in the ABA Schools Intermediate level. He unfortunately lost to D L Piggot.


Frank went on to play in a Local Works league in London where he progressed to amateur Level. He had a spell with local amateur side Epsom F.C (now Epsom & Ewell F.C) He made his debut against Woking F.C on 8th September 1945. During his short career he played 27 games, scoring 5 goals in the 1945/46 season and finished his career playing 3 games during the 1946/47 Season, he played predominantly as a as a centre half. Frank also made an additional 16 appearances for Epsom Reserves over the two seasons.
 Frank for Epsom F.C 1945/46


 Frank Playing for West London Pioneers (circa 1950's) With Baseball becoming popular in the UK prior to WW2, Frank was part of the latest craze as shortly after playing football he joined Mitcham Tigers, a club playing mostly Americans and Canadians. Playing as an infielder, he was the leading run scorer in the London West League for Surrey Lions in 1948. He subsequently played for teams which usually won in their League. Playing for Mitcham Royals in 1949, with a spell at West London Pioneers and in 1952 played for an England team against the Canadian Airforce. On 26 July, a team representing England took on a squad from the Canadian military at the ground of Leatherhead Football Club. The English team comprised players from a trio of London-area clubs, the Mitcham Royals, Mitcham Tigers, and Sutton Beavers. The team was essentially an All-Star squad from the Western League, but it was given the 'England' moniker to help publicize the contest, and it worked. The game, which was played in Surrey, attracted a sizable audience that included Walter Winterbottom, the England football coach. The All-Stars ultimately lost the contest in a 17-13 slugfest. The score was tied until the fifth inning, when Canada jumped ahead and held the lead despite 'two beautiful homers' by English players Frank Adey and team mate Ray Reynolds.

In September 1952, English officials put together a squad that brought together the best players from throughout the country. The team featured eight southern players and seven from the north. In the 19 September edition of the 'Evening News', the All-England side was described as 'one of the best we have fielded.' The team played in what was originally called the 'Four Countries Tournament'. England were scheduled to be joined by Spain, a US Air Force team from Lakenheath, and a Royal Canadian Air Force side, but the Canadians dropped out. The three remaining teams played a round-robin schedule on 13th-14th September at Young Field on the US Air Force base in Lakenheath. (The field was named after the designer, who was killed in an air crash before the facility was completed.) English players were required to cover their travelling expenses but 'food and billeting were undertaken by the U.S.A.F., who were hosts of the tournament, Frank was one of the fortunate all stars who was invited to represent England. 

Later Frank managed a team from a US base and finished his career playing first base for the US Navy.It was then that the Americans sent him on an umpiring course at Upper Heyford USAF base. After that no-one was keen to argue Frank’s decisions
on the field and he umpired many big games, often given seniority over top US umpires.

Frank Umpiring a game against London Warriors and Croydon Bluejays

Frank later became chairman of the Southern Baseball Association. Then, during April 1964 Frank attended various meetings as a representative from the Southern Baseball Association due to major changes in British Baseball.

At the meeting in Nottingham, lengthy discussions were held in which Frank expressed his concern of the inefectivness of the British Baseball Federation. The chairman of the National League, Mr. Akers, had exploded a bombshell during the morning by stating, and displaying documentary proof, that the National League had been accepted as a member of the European Baseball Federation. The consequences following this acceptance were that the National League could 
enter a team for the European Championships, the National League champions could enter the European Cup competition, and that the National League could bar any British club, league, or association from international competition. Following these events Frank stepped down as Chairman.

The rest is Little League Football History….

Later Years

Following his retirement from Little League Frank made appearances where he returned back to Morden for the 40th Anniversary, where he reminissed his memories and Martin decided to document the History of Little League Football.Frank sadly passed away on 12th August 2016.

Disclaimer about the information.

In a tribute to Franks life I have decided that a short write up to capture the sporting events would be fitting, I never met or knew Mr Adey or his son Frank (Jnr.) So this short bio is solely done by research in which a few sources are mentioned below. The content also contains information taken from Newspaper clippings, Baseball programmes, newsletters and meeting minutes. If a family member or anyone else wishes for the content to be altered or removed then please contact this website.

Sources: Boxing Records 1935 1945/46 Season - Epsom F.C