Frederick Phillips was the son of an English-born brewer and wine merchant who was the Mayor of Newport in 1906-07. Phillips junior was both a fine cricketer and hockey player. He played cricket for Newport and the Monmouthshire county side, as did fellow Olympian Ralph Williams. Phillips also played hockey for the Newport club. A Welsh international, he played for Wales in their only game at the 1908 London Olympics, a 3-1 defeat to Ireland, yet he still collected a bronze medal. Another Olympic team-mate, Robert Lyne, was best man at Phillips’ wedding in 1909.