Halliday Fred Image 3 Brentford Manager 1911

Halliday Fred Image 3 Brentford Manager 1911


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Chester, Cheshire born left back Fred Halliday began his football career as an amateur at local club Combination club Chester in the late 1890’s. He transferred to First Division club Liverpool in April 1898, but failed to make a first team appearance, joining Lancashire League club Crewe Alexandra in 1899. He joined Everton in 1900 and spent 1900-01 at Goodison Park without making their first eleven. Signing for First Division Bolton Wanderers in the 1901 close season, he made his Football League debut at Blackburn Rovers that December, playing 18 times in his debut season, but made only 12 more appearances in 1902-03, a season that ended in relegation for The Trotters.

Halliday left Burnden Park in the 1903 close season after the club’s relegation to the Second Division moving to newly founded Second Division club Bradford City. He made 74 appearances for The Bantams during their first three League seasons including playing in their inaugural League fixture at Grimsby Town on 1st September 1903, which ended in a 2-0 defeat and departed Valley Parade in 1907.

Halliday became manager of Southern League First Division club Bradford Park Avenue in May 1907, guiding the club to a mid-table finish in the 1907-08 season. He made one playing appearance for the club as an emergency goalkeeper in a match versus Swindon Town, when regular keeper Tom Baddeley missed his train. He departed Park Avenue after the season, joining Southern League First Division club Brentford as manager in June 1908, taking over from W G Brown.

Halliday’s team had a disastrous 1908-09 campaign in the League, finishing bottom (though avoiding relegation to the Second Division), but he brought silverware to the club, winning the Southern Professional Charity Cup. He led The Bees to a mid-table finishes in the 1909-10, 1910-11 and 1911-12 seasons, bringing in players such as Patsy Hendren. He continued as manager into the 1912-13 season, but with the club still in relegation trouble, Halliday stepped down in November 1912 and became the club’s secretary. He was replaced by one of his players, Ephraim Rhodes.

Halliday stepped up to become Brentford manager for the second time in August 1915, replacing Rhodes, who was called up for Army service. The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 led the Football League and Southern League to decide to suspend peacetime football at the end of the 1914-15 season until the end of hostilities, so Halliday took charge of a Brentford team playing in the unofficial War League and the newly formed London Combination. He managed the club in both leagues during the 1915-16, 1916-17, 1917-18 and 1918-19 seasons and won the London Combination title in the latter campaign.

Competitive football returned for the 1919-20 season and Halliday’s Bees had a season back in the Southern League First Division, finishing in mid-table. Brentford then won election to the Football League as founding members of the Third Division for the 1920-21 season. An unsuccessful season saw The Bees finish second from bottom and Halliday stepped down in the summer of 1921 to return to administrative duties. He was replaced by Archie Mitchell.

After Mitchell’s sacking in December 1924, Halliday took over the manager’s job for the third time. Another second from bottom finish followed in the 1924-25 season, followed by an 18th place finish in the 1925-26 season, after which Halliday left Brentford permanently.

He was inducted into the Brentford Hall of Fame in 2015.

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