Frank Buckley was born in Urmston, Lancashire in 1882. He attended St Francis Xavier’s College, Liverpool, and became an office clerk. Already part of the Manchester Regiment, Buckley signed up for a 12-year enlistment in the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) and expected to serve in the Boer War, but was instead sent to Ireland. He bought himself out of the army in 1902 to become a professional footballer.
He went from Aston Villa to Brighton & Hove Albion to Manchester United and Manchester City all within six years, and found something approaching stability only with Birmingham, where he made 56 appearances. Soon after that he was on the move again, this time to Derby County. It was with the Rams, in 1914, that he gained his sole England cap, in a shock 3–0 defeat by Ireland before upping sticks, again, to join Bradford City. His stay in Yorkshire shortened by the start of the First World War.
Frank Buckley went to war with the 17th Middlesex Regiment (where he commanded the Football Battalion), seeing action and receiving wounds in the Battle of the Somme, and rising to the rank of Major.
Frank played 34 matches for the Seagulls in 1905-06 scoring 2 goals.