Stockport, Cheshire born centre forward Fred Lessons played for junior club Nottingham Jardines Athletic in 1903 before joining First Division Nottingham Forest in 1904, making his Football League debut against Preston North End that October, but didn’t play again until the reverse fixture two months later, which he marked with his first goal in a 1-0 victory. He scored 3 goals in 16 appearances during his debut season and 5 goals in 14 appearances during 1905-06 as Forest were relegated, but only made 3 further appearances before joining Southern League Northampton Town in 1907. He formed a formidable partnership with Albert Lewis and it was their goals that helped the club to the Southern League Championship in 1908-09, they were also runners up in 1910-11.
He also played in the 1909 FA Charity Shield when The Cobblers lost 2-0 to Football League Champions Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in April 1909. He went on to score 79 goals in 249 appearances for The Cobblers and became their manager in August 1913, continuing to play for and manage them through to the suspension of peacetime football and during the wartime period after the outbreak of the First World War.
Lessons served as a lance corporal in the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment during the First World War and was killed on the Western Front on 7th September 1918, just over two months before the Armistice. He is buried in Éterpigny British Cemetery. He was one of eight Northampton Town players to serve their country and lose their lives during the conflict.