Presteigne, Radnorshire born goalkeeper Fred Griffiths began his football career played junior football in Wales before beginning his senior career with the Blackpool based club South Shore in 1894. He went on to play for other Lancashire based clubs Clitheroe in 1895, Blackpool in 1899 having returned to South Shore in 1897, and Stalybridge Rovers in 1900.
On 3rd February 1900, while on the books of Blackpool, he made his debut for Wales in an international match against Scotland at Aberdeen and rthe following month played against England in a 1-1 draw at Cardiff Arms Park, making him the first Blackpool player to win an international cap. He also played in The Seasiders’ first ever match at Bloomfield Road.
He then moved south to join Southern League club Millwall Athletic, making 34 appearances for The Lions in 1900-01 before moving across London to join Tottenham Hotspur, then also playing in the Southern League, where he made 9 appearances for Spurs the next season along with 3 FA Cup appearances. In March 1902 Griffiths returned to Lancashire to join Second Division club Preston North End, making his Football League debut at Bristol City the same month in the absence of regular Preston goalkeeper Peter McBride. He made 10 appearances for The Lambs before once more returning to London to play for West Ham United in the 1902 close season.
At Upton Park he replaced William Biggar in goal that October after Biggar conceded five goals in a defeat to Wellingborough Town, and remained the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for two seasons, making 52 appearances for The Hammers. In the summer of 1904 he joined New Brompton (now Gillingham), where he spent two seasons and became club captain, making 52 Southern League appearances. He next joined Middlesbrough in 1906 where he was understudy to Tim Williamson, but never played for the club’s first team, before a final move to non league club Moore’s Athletic of Shirebrook in 1907 ahead of his eventual retirement.
Griffiths joined the British Army during the First World War, serving with the 15th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), reaching the rank of sergeant. The unit had originally been raised as a bantam battalion in Nottingham in 1915. By 1917 the battalion was part of 35th Division which was thrown into the Battle of Passchendaele (the Third Battle of Ypres) in October 1917. Griffiths was killed in action on 30th October 1917, along with four others of his battalion (another 15 were wounded that day). He is buried at the Dozinghem Military Cemetery in West Flanders, Belgium.