Exclusive: Former Leicester City Defender Admits Referee Reputation

Former Leicester City man Frank Sinclair was a bulldozing defender during his long stint in English football.

He enjoyed plenty of success along the way with the likes of Chelsea and Leicester City, winning the League Cup, FA Cup and a European Cup Winner’s Cup.

However, his robust style of play came at a cost, and this particular cost was in the shape of his relationship with the officials. In the eyes of the 52-year-old, particular dismissals were on the harsh side.

“I got sent off plenty of times in my career, so it never really bothered me,” he told The Real EFL in a recent discussion.

“I had a reputation a little bit with referees for being a hard-tackling defender who sometimes went over the mark and sometimes I feel I I didn’t get the justice that I should have.”

“For certain tackles, I didn’t get the benefit of the doubt that others did.”

Whilst at Leicester, Sinclair also developed an unfortunate knack for own goals, beginning with two in consecutive appearances six months into his time at Filbert Street.

After heading into the wrong net against Arsenal, he then netted against his former club, Chelsea, but at the wrong end.

“I used to brush things off quite quickly; I went through a period in my career where I scored a few own goals in the Premier League, and they were quite highlighted.”

“It never really bothered me because I was always confident in my own ability and what I brought to the table.”

“I always recovered from things like that. I was quite strong mentally as a player, and I just used to get on with things and focus on the next opportunity that I was playing and focus on my performance there.”

Sinclair played 300 top-flight matches during his spells with Leicester and Chelsea, but he also knew when his time was up. Never one to sit and just take a wage, he was always seeking the next challenge, which led him to the likes of Huddersfield, Lincoln City and Wrexham.

“I’ve never been the type of player that would be happy just being a bit part squad member of any team that I played at, so I was quite fortunate throughout my career that I generally played all the time.”

“Pretty much every club I left was at that stage where a manager was probably looking beyond me, as in towards their teams. More often than not, I moved on, I dropped down the leagues to continue playing throughout my whole career.”

 “I suppose it’s the competitiveness in me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look back with no regrets.”

In total, Sinclair played more than 756 competitive matches, appearing in all four EFL divisions, as well as the National League with Wrexham and the Conference North with Colwyn Bay and Brackley. He is currently a professional development phase coach at Doncaster, a position he took in January 2023.

Sinclair is speaking to the Real EFL courtesy of Stocklytics

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