Fairfoul Tom Image 3 Liverpool 1914

Fairfoul Tom Image 3 Liverpool 1914


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West Calder, Lothian born right half Tom Fairfoul started his football career with Lanark Athletic in 1902 and played for Petna in 1903 before joining Scottish League Kilmarnock in 1904, making his Scottish League debut against Hibernian that October, where he soon built a reputation as a solid right half, scoring 8 goals in 49 appearances over the next two seasons. In the 1906 close season he moved to Third Lanark where he featured in 247 matches in the Scottish First Division, scoring 27 goals for The Warriors, and he gained representative honours for The Scottish League, playing in a 2-1 win over The Irish League in Belfast in February 1909.

He signed for Liverpool in May 1913 making his Football League debut at Derby County that September and he was a regular in the Liverpool side in the two years that preceded the First World War. He played in every one of the 38 First Division matches in 1913-14 and made a further 24 appearances the following season. Nine FA Cup ties over the same period, including an appearance in the 1914 FA Cup Final defeat by Burnley at The Crystal Palace, brought his career total for Liverpool to 71 matches.

However he will always be a name synonymous with the Manchester United v Liverpool betting scandal of Easter 1915. Fairfoul, along with three Liverpool players (Tom Miller, Bob Pursell, Jackie Sheldon) and three United players, was found guilty of fixing a game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Good Friday 1915. Bookies had laid up to 8-1 against United winning 2-0 which is how it ended. He was given a life ban from football, however for his service to his country in the trenches Fairfoul’s life ban from the game was later lifted, however he had already quit playing altogether during the War.



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