Frank Rothwell - a profile

Date published: 28 July 2022


Local businessman Frank Rothwell has become the new chairman of Oldham Athletic, as the Rothwell family take full ownership of the club.

A popular and familiar figure in Oldham - here's what we know about Frank.

The eldest of five children, Frank left school at the age of 14, with his only qualification being "a 25 yards swimming certificate."

His first job was as an apprentice farm tractor mechanic but, at 19, after achieving a City and Guilds in Mechanical Engineering, he became a bulldozer mechanic on the M62 construction project.       

From there, he moved on to working as a mechanic in the copper mines in Zambia and also as a foreman on the Dubai Dry Dock project.

Frank set up his Manchester Cabins business in 1979, aged 28, from his home in Royton.

Talking about the business, he said: "My business originally manufactured affordable and cheerful portable construction site cabins but, in the last 20 years, we changed the direction of our business to a hire company which manufactures its own cabins.

"We are also manufacturer and hirer of the National market leading Bunkabin units. These are portable sleeping accommodation units that have a bed, a shower, toilet, wash hand basin, microwave and fridges and are designed to allow you to stay and sleep where ever you need to.

"I retired last year and our family business is now being successfully managed by my son Luke and daughter Su. Manchester Cabins employs over 50 people in our Oldham factory and depot and turns over nearly £20m a year.

"For fun, among other things, I made the first Land Rover to be powered by steam and coal in my garage, and this year at 70, I became the oldest person to row a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean - raising £1.1m for Alzheimer’s Research UK, with great support from our beautiful town of Oldham."

Over the years, Frank has supported many local organisations and, in 2020, donated £30,000 to Action Together to help the charity continue its vital work supporting the Oldham community throughout the pandemic.

Last year, former Council leader Arooj Shah announced Frank would become the first "Ambassador for Business"  

He was awarded Freeman of the Borough in 2021 for his outstanding contributions to Oldham, in addition to his inspiring charity work.

On receiving his honour, Frank said: “Becoming a Freeman of the Borough has been the greatest achievement of my life and I am overjoyed to have received this local recognition."


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