Micky French RIP
Paul Vanes Writes:
MICHAEL FRANK FRENCH FCA born 17/01/1930 died 03/02/2019
Michael, known to everybody as Micky, was born in London playing for London Schools before his school was evacuated to Oxford during the war. Association football was not on the curriculum of his adopted school and as Micky’s first love was soccer, he was not to be denied his game, so he played rugby on Saturday and soccer on Sunday.
When he left school Micky moved to Coventry and joined Stoke St. Michaels in the Minor League. His consistent displays for Stoke won him a place in the Birmingham County F.A. Youth Xl needless to say his performances soon attracted the League scouts and he signed amateur forms Coventry City for whose ‘A’ and Reserves teams he played.
Micky, like all young men, had to do his National Service and after two years in the R.A.F. was signed for the Brakes by Les Latham who knew of his ability. As an amateur he played for the Birmingham County F.A. and then signed professional forms in 1952 going on to play two consecutive seasons for the Rest of The Birmingham Combination versus the champions.
Micky made his debut for Lockheed against Tamworth on 10th of February 1951 keeping his place throughout the rest of the season winning a medal beating Hereford United Reserves in the final of the Birmingham Senior cup replay at the Windmill in front of 3,500 fans. Another medal was collected when Brakes beat Bedworth Town 6-1 at the Oval in the final of the local Charity cup with Micky scoring one of the goals.
From a goal scoring point of view, Micky netted four times against Birch Coppice Colliery in a 6-1 home win on January 20th 1954 and recorded 11 for the season, the best of his Lockheed career. August 22nd 1955 saw Lockheed host Northampton Town in a joint benefit match for Micky French, Frank Grimwood and Albert Sneddon, Cobbles ran out winners by the odd goal in three watched by 1,445 fans and Brakes goal was scored by … Micky French.
Many league clubs tried to poach Micky away from the semi-professional game but he resisted and in October 1955, he joined Rugby Town. He played over 170 games scoring 35 goals for Lockheed. By trade Micky was a chartered accountant joining Coventry City as a director in 1969 and resigned in 1992.
His brother David, who pre-deceased him, was also a professional player with Lockheed in 1951/52 and 1952/53. I am sorry this obituary is belated but we didn’t find out until last week that Micky had passed away from dementia and cancer. Micky is now slinging over the corners and crosses for Bill Draper to head home on the green grass upstairs.
May we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to wife June, son Simon, daughter Alison and her three children plus all the family and the friends of this very nice man on behalf of everyone at Leamington Football Club and the Brakes Trust. The funeral was at Oakley Woods last month.