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Freddie Steele (footballer)

Freddie Steele (footballer)
Personal information
Full nameFrederick Charles Steele
Date of birth6 May 1916
Place of birthHanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Date of death23 April 1976(age 59)
Place of deathNewcastle-under-Lyme, England
Playing positionForward

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Frederick Charles (Freddie) Steele (6 May 1916 23 April 1976) was a footballer who played as a forward for Stoke City and was a former England international. He also had spells at Mansfield Town and Port Vale as a player-manager, leading Vale to a league title. He remains a legendary figure in the histories of both Stoke and Vale.

Signing with Stoke City in 1931 at the age of fifteen, he set a club record when he scored 33 league goals in the 1936 37 season. During the season his 214 day long international career also made for impressive reading, as he hit eight goals in six games for England. However a series of misfortunes severely disrupted his playing career. Picking up a serious knee injury in 1937, he retired two years later after suffering from depression - aged just 23. After an improvement in his physical and mental state he resumed his career, only to have it cut short again, this time due to the outbreak of World War II. Guesting for several clubs, he continued his Stoke career after the war, before joining Mansfield Town as player-manager in 1949.

In 1951 he was appointed as Port Vale manager. His six years with the club were some of the most significant in the club's history, as he masterminded a Third Division North title winning season, as well the club's only ever FA Cup semi-final appearance. After the team he cultivated proved to be 'past it' by 1957, he too left the club. Returning as manager in 1962, his second spell would prove less successful and he left the club for good three years later.

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