Outside right Fred Forman was born in Aston-upon-Trent, Derbyshire, the elder brother of Frank Forman and uncle to Harry Linacre, and all three followed a similar career path. Forman played youth football for Aston-on-Trent before moving up to Beeston Town, where he was spotted by Derby County, who signed him in January 1892. Forman made a scoring Football League debut against Sheffield Wednesday in March 1893 in a 2-2 draw, and followed that with a brace against Accrington a week later but, after only making only four appearances, he was transferred to East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in 1894, where he was soon joined by his brother.
He soon became an established player on the wings for Forest, putting in the crosses for centre forwards Tom McInnes and Charlie Richards, contributing a handful of goals each season as Forest finished every season in mid-table. Illness and injury restricted his appearances in 1897-98 and he played no part in Forest’s 1898 FA Cup success in which they defeated Forman’s former club, Derby County 3-1 in the Final.
By the end of the following season, he was restored to fitness and was selected for all three England matches in the 1899 British Home Championship, in all of which he played at outside right with his brother Frank at right half. He made his international debut in the match against Ireland, played at Roker Park, Sunderland on 2nd March 1899 when he and Frank became the first brothers from the same professional club to represent England at the same time, a record that stood until Manchester United’s Neville brothers repeated the feat in 1996, nearly a century later. England totally dominated the Irish team and the England forwards “scored at will” with four from Gilbert Smith, three from Jimmy Settle and two each from Fred Forman and Steve Bloomer. Frank Forman also got on the score-sheet with the opening goal as England ran out victors by a 13-2 margin. This is still the record number of goals scored by England in a single match and the highest aggregate goals (15) in a game involving England.
Forman retained his place for the next match against Wales, played at Ashton Gate, Bristol on 20th March when he scored the third goal in a 4-0 victory, with two from Bloomer. In his third and final appearance, England defeated Scotland 2-1, and thus England retained the Championship. He also went on the 1899 FA Tour of Germany and Austria, scoring 4 goals in 3 Test Matches, all against Germany.
Forman continued to appear regularly for Forest over the next few seasons, playing in their 1902 FA Cup semi final defeat to Southampton at White Hart Lane, until he retired in 1903, after making a total of 177 appearances, scoring forty goals for Forest.