Striker Frankie Bunn joined the Tigers in July 1985 to spearhead City’s new look Second Division side following promotion engineered by player/manager Brian Horton. He scored on his debut against Portsmouth and quickly struck up an understanding with powerful centre forward and fans’ favourite Billy Whitehurst. Bunn scored 14 times in the first 25 games of the 1985/86 season, impressive form for a new signing. But in December 1985 Whitehurst was sold to Newcastle and Frankie took over as spearhead of the forward line, a role he was less suited to. City’s form became patchy, finishing 8th in the league table, with Bunn scoring six more times to achieve a 20 goal haul for the season.
In 1986/87 Bunn started the season in poor form in front of goal, scoring only once before New Years Day. His form did eventually pick up, scoring four more goals before the end of the season, but fans had started to become disaffected with the affable Brummie. In 1987/88 Bunn was paired with Alex Dyer and both scored regularly. By the end of November 1987 Frank again struggled to score and was tempted into a fresh start with Oldham, for whom he signed in the first week of December.
Born in Birmingham, Bunn’s career started as an apprentice at Luton Town, where he first encountered future City boss Brian Horton. He made his Hatters debut in the Second Division in August 1980 but it wasn’t until 1983/84, with Luton promoted to the First Division, that Frankie was able to hold down a regular first team shirt, scoring four times in 33 appearances. Frankie was a less frequent presence in the first team in 1984/85, encouraging him to seek pastures new in the 1985 close season.
Bunn joined Oldham Athletic in December 1987 and held down a regular first team place for three seasons, scoring 9 goals in his first season and 13 in each of the subsequent two seasons. It was later revealed that future England star Paul Scholes, who hailed from Oldham, regarded Bunn as his footballing hero. Frankie’s scoring record in 1989/90 was given a significant boost by a League Cup tie against Scarborough in which he struck six times, a competition record. Oldham reached the League Cup final that season with Bunn up front, losing out 0-1 to Nottingham Forest. Towards the end of the season Bunn suffered a serious knee injury and after eighteen months treatment he was unable to resume first team football and called time on his professional career at the age of 29.
Settled in his Saddleworth home, Frank briefly returned to football playing for Stalybridge Celtic and Radcliffe Borough whilst learning the ropes as a coach, then took up his first coaching role with Wigan Athletic in 1996. In 1998 he joined the Manchester City coaching staff, becoming reserve team manager. In 2007 he became first team coach at Coventry City and was briefly caretaker manager in February 2008, eventually leaving the Sky Blues in 2010. In January 2011 he joined Newcastle United’s coaching staff, then in June 2011 he joined Rochdale as assistant manager. Frankie moved on to Huddersfield Town a year later to work with the academy players alongside fellow coach Steve Eyre, whom he had worked with before at both Manchester City and Rochdale. In June 2018 Bunn made it to the top job when he was appointed manager of his former club Oldham Athletic, but he was sacked within six months. Frankie was linked with the Bury manager role in June 2019, but the Shakers looked elsewhere and promptly went bust – bullet dodged.
Date/Place of Birth: 6 November 1972, Birmingham
Hull City First Game: 17 August 1985, Portsmouth H (Division Two), 22 years, 284 days old
Hull City Final Game: 28 November 1987, Millwall A (Division Two), 25 years, 22 days old
Luton Town (1979-1985), Hull City (1985-1987), Oldham Athletic (1987-1992), Stalybridge Celtic (1992-1994), Radcliffe Borough (1994-1996)
Hull City Record
Career: 112 apps, 30 goalsFrankie Bunn
|1985/86||42 (0)||14||3 (0)||0||4 (0)||2||-||-||3 (1)||4|
|1986/87||31 (4)||4||2 (0)||1||0 (1)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1987/88||16 (2)||5||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|