The Manchester Giants were saddened to learn of the passing of long time Giants fan Frank Dean on the 19th November at the age of 71. After that evening’s game, Head Coach Danny Byrne dedicated the win to Frank, which happened to be our biggest ever win against Cheshire, whom Frank considered our greatest rivals.
Frank and his wife Ann, who passed away in January 2019, were avid Giants supporters and were familiar faces at home games to many. Frank supported Manchester basketball teams all the way back to the Stretford sports centre days but picked up the Giants “bug” at a double bill game with the Harlem Globetrotters at the MEN arena in the 90s.
Frank spent some years in exile without any Giants to watch during the 00s and says his best day as a Giants fan was the day he learned the Giants were returning to the BBL.
An example of Frank’s fanaticism for the Giants was when he sat in the tattooist’s chair in his late 60s to get a Giants tattoo on his arm – the tattoo (and Frank) taking a starring role in a Giants promo video late last year.
His favourite player of all time was Mark Robinson whose passion, talent and intelligence he admired.
Head Coach Danny Byrne said: “It’s a huge shame that such a loyal fan who has always stuck with us has not got the chance to see this seasons team play at the Performance Centre. I will definitely miss his analysis after each home game, and I’m very grateful for his support over the years. Thoughts and prayers are with his family”
Jamie Edwards said: “I’ve met some great fans in the past eight months and Frank was somebody I met at my first home game, he shared his passion for the club and for the team that he supported with me. We met for a coffee over the off-season and he told me how he is how he introduced his family to the Giants and how he loved his position on the back row. He loved the view from back there and asked just before the restrictions if I could save him a seat at Belle Vue at the back.
All he wanted to see was the team performances improve and the club improve. It’s such a shame he never got to see the past two games or meet the new team. He’ll still be watching from above.”
Frank’s vocal support of the Giants made him well known and loved by fellow fans and tributes poured in on the Manchester Giants fans group and across social media:
Former Giant Mike Bernard, “Manchester Giants family we lost a big time Giants fan a really nice and great person yesterday, Frank Dean we will miss you R.I.P my friend”
Before the game against Glasgow on Friday 27th November, there will be a minute’s applause for Frank, to give the players an opportunity to make some noise for him, like he so often did for them.