Frank Lived his life in a Maelstrom of Non-Conformity

  • Frank embarked on his Ironman triathlete journey at age 45+.  There was no dithering about wanting to be an Ironman, expressed bluntly he was going to be an Ironman 
  • Frank lived his life in denial of any degree of reverence, but he also respected authority and brought his children up the right way to respect people in the way they’d want themselves to be respected
  • Frank had his fourth child when in his late forties, it didn’t slow him down one tiny bit
  • His real name (Francis) is shared with that of my auntie Frances (so to me it was always a girl's name)
  • Frank became a Nite Rider - they couldn’t spell the name properly and the blokes all wore pink uniforms

Nobody who met him, forgot him - ever.  I didn’t know him particularly well, but one moment in his company and it was bleedingly obvious - here was a special man.  It was in the early days of my being discharged from the hospital and beginning my fragile recovery when Ruth took me to a youth team football match with Olivia to watch Charlie play.  Frank was pitch-side, he took one look at me before coming over and giving me the biggest of bear hugs, with utter conviction. Nobody before or since had ever done anything like that to me, it was so powerfully motivational I was literally shaking.  You have to consider the context, I was his ex-wife’s boyfriend, but did that inhibit him?  No!  What a bloody great man he is.

Frank’s non-conformist spirit is evident in his children.  Despite not having done any training for it, his first son Charlie was inspired to be an Ironman, just like his dad.  If you've read through much of my wider blog you'll know how I feel about Charlie, he is like his father, a simply outstanding man.

My daughter Olivia summed up Frank's personality perfectly when she said to me "Dad, Frank is just like Phil Dunphy (from Modern Family fame) isn't he?"  Click on the link - I'd relate to Frank saying quote number 2.

In a nutshell, Frank is an Ironman in our hearts - forever.


Charlie took over his dad’s registration for the Dun Laoghaire 70.3 Ironman event in Ireland.

On 19th August 2018, supported (noisily) by Ruth, Brigette, Theo, Evan, Reuben, Jean and Horst - Charlie became an Ironman.

'Half-Brother' Frank

Frank is Charlie’s father and Ruth’s ex-husband, so nominally we aren’t related. On paper we are only friends through family ties, but as you will see from the nature of the man, what a bloody friend to have!  Frank was brought up in a religious family context where some family feelings were sometimes difficult to express.  I use the term 'brother Frank' with implied irony - the religious family context didn’t inhibit Frank - it inspired him.  Rather than becoming subdued (nobody ever said that word of Frank) he was a fantastic husband to two lovely, intelligent women who adored him.  Perhaps even stronger, he was an outrageously special father to four boys, who absolutely worshipped him (no religious connotation intended).

To give context to the text image adjacent... Frank had just turned 50 and given my memory problems after my RTC, we shared a little dark humour about his age.