Atherstone, Warwickshire born centre forward Fred Hargrave started his football career with hometown junior club Atherstone Town in 1899 and joined Aston Villa in July 1901, spending 1901-02 on their staff without making a first team appearance. He joined Walsall in 1902 and from there moved to Second Division Burton United in July 1903, making his Football League debut at Bolton Wanderers that September. He was Burton’s top scorer in his debut season with 18 goals, half of which were scored in FA Cup ties and his two seasons for United produced 23 goals in 72 appearances.
He joined Leeds City in July 1905 and notched 19 goals in his debut season, being the club’s top scorer. Four of those came in the 11-0 defeat of lowly Morley in the FA Cup in October. He captained the team on a number of occasions when regular skipper Dick Raywas absent. In his second season for City, Hargraves switched to half-back, and earned some good reviews. He played in all but five games, though he appeared just twice in 1907-08 and not at all the following season.
He left Leeds in 1908 for Birmingham & District League side Stoke and scored 11 goals in 15 matches for The Potters in 1908-09.
Hargrave served in the Army during the First World War, enlisting in The Royal Garrison Artillery, and was killed in action in October 1917 at Passchendaele. He is buried at Steenkerke Belgian Military Cemetery.