Frank Stone (Colin Parry) 2004-2005

First Regular Appearance: 8.1 (#325) Down  Sunday 17th October 2004

Last Regular Appearance: 8.32 (#356) Play Off  Sunday 29th May 2005

Duration: EP: 325 - 356 ½ SE: 8.1 – 8.32

Squad Number/Position: #4 (Defender) (2004-2005)

Last Seen: With the team in the Millennium Stadium car park celebrating winning promotion. Dies in the coach explosion.

 

 

Growing up in Wigan, Frank Stone showed just enough talent in football to avoid the army career he’d otherwise be well into. He earned the reputation "Stone" for his no-nonsense style and emotionless demeanour on the pitch. As a youth team player, Frank came under the watch of Wigan Athletic's manager Don Barker, and was soon his sidekick, gaining a contract to the first team and being treated as the son Barker never had. This placed Frank in an isolated situation where scepticism from his team mates overtook any trust, and there was no surprise from anyone when the only girl Frank could form a relationship with was the manager's daughter, Jodie.

 

When Frank and Jodie married in 2002, it seemed he was still destined for a life above the First Division - something Jodie looked forward to more than Frank did. By the summer of 2004 Frank was still doggedly ploughing the Wigan side, and Barker sees it to improve his son-in-law's chances when he accepts the managerial role at Harchester United. At 26, Frank knows that Harchester’s promotion back to the Premiership holds his last chance to achieve his top flight prospects, and importantly he doesn't want to let Don, or Jodie down.

 

Frank is immediately thrown into Europe with the club’s first Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon, but a punch-up with Tommy Valentine over drama with Jodie lands Frank, and the team in the local jail. No sooner are they at the club and Barker is instructing Frank to “toughen up” Clyde Connelly, in his own brutal way. Frank is right at home when Don takes the team to a Boot Camp assault course, where he can again take his aggression out on Clyde and Tommy.

 

In the run up to Harchester’s home clash with Barcelona, Frank begins to lose his form, which Clyde uses to his advantage to knock Frank. Feeling humiliated, Frank waits for Clyde after the match and beats him with Clyde subsequently ending up in hospital. Clyde becomes depressed following Barker’s mind games and commits suicide, and Frank feels genuinely remorseful at his death. His game-play returns however, and Frank’s goal at the Nou Camp secures Harchester’s place in the Champions League 2nd Round.

 

With his hard-man reputation, Frank’s team mates thought they knew all there was about the defender. The night of their win over Man City, Curtis went to check on Frank after spotting his car at the side of the road, and found him in a compromising situation with another man. With Frank’s behaviour all over the place following the discovery of his darkest secret, Don makes Curtis tell him what he knows, and in a disgusted rage (even more for Frank having sex with a man than for cheating on his daughter) beats his son-in-law and orders he leave to Portsmouth. When Jodie takes Frank back, Don again makes Curtis state what he saw, and Jodie hears for the first time that it was a man not a woman Frank was with.

 

When Jodie learns she is pregnant, Don tries to persuade her to have an abortion. Frank wants the baby, and Jodie decides to keep it with it looking like she and Frank are back together. Don then leaks the story of Frank’s bisexuality to the papers, and the shock causes Jodie to lose the baby. On top of it all, the team show a homophobic front against Frank, forcing him to change in the physio room, until with the support of his new manager Viv Wright, Frank returns to the team.

 

Jodie is not coping following the loss of their child, and after taking one of Danny Sullivan’s twins in despair, the team turn on Frank for concealing what Jodie had done in order to protect his wife. Frank and Jodie fail to make their marriage work, and he tells her that with his secret out she should find somebody who can love her like she deserves.

 

At the play-off finals in Cardiff, Frank is part of the winning squad that secure Harchester’s return to the Premiership. It seemed that he was finally going to achieve that Premier League dream. Afterwards, Frank is on board the team coach when his father-in-law crashes his petrol-laden car head on, causing a massive fireball explosion. Frank is one of the first fatalities to be identified.