Monkey Glands and the Major

Delighted to have featured once more on These Football Times. Check out my latest post on football’s first ever doping scandal

These Football Times

IN 1927 THE BOARD OF WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS took the bold decision to hire a man known for his unique managerial methods, authoritarian style, keen eye for detail and innovative approach. Frank Buckley, or the Major as he became known, did not suffer fools, but the results spoke for themselves. Within a few years of his appointment the Major had made Wolves a team to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the Major’s revolution was not without its controversies, with the man from Manchester sparking off football’s first widespread doping scandal in 1937 when he began to inject his players with monkey gland extracts.

Before going into that, however, it’s important to examine Buckley’s background to understand the man behind the scandal.

Born in Manchester in 1883, it was clear from a young age that Buckley was destined for the hallowed turf. As a boy he excelled at sport, particularly football, and even when…

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