Kettering, Northamptonshire born left back Fred Farren began his football career with hometown Northamptonshire League club Kettering Town, making his debut in senior football when Kettering played an FA Cup First Round proper tie in a 4-0 defeat at Derby County in January 1906, and it wasn’t long before he came to the attention of Second Division Bradford City, who signed him in the summer of 1906. He made his Football League debut in a 1-1 draw at Leeds City in September 1906, soon establishing himself as The Bantams’ regular left back, missing only seven matches in his debut season as Bradford City finished fifth in the Second Division, to that date their highest League finish in their fourth season as a League club.
Farren was again a regular in 1907-08 missing only one more match than the season before, making 30 appearances as Bradford City won the Second Division Championship and promotion to the top flight, and he continued to be their regular choice at left back in the First Division until the middle of March 1909, when he lost his place to George Chaplin, playing only one of the remaining 12 fixtures in their season as The Bantams finished in 18th place, surviving an immediate return to the Second Division with a final day win over Manchester United.
Farren remained on the fringes at Valley Parade for the next three seasons and was at the club as they dramatically won the FA Cup in 1911, but played only once more for Bradford City when he appeared in a League fixture at Blackburn Rovers in March 1912. He joined Midland League club Halifax Town in the 1912 close season after 95 appearances for Bradford City, and had a single season at The Shay before returning to Kettering Town.
NB Another Kettering Town player, C (Charlie?) Farren also played as a half back for Kettering Town in the 1906 FA Cup tie at Derby County, and is likely to be his brother, although he never played League football.