Hayfield, Derbyshire born goalkeeper Fred Mace began his football career with Godley Athletic in 1913 and played for Copley Celtic in 1914 before the First World War interrupted his career. After the War he joined Central League club Stalybridge Celtic in August 1919 and after they joined The Football League in 1921, Mace was understudy to Tommy Lonsdale, and made his Football League debut, and only League appearance for Stalybridge, at Barrow in January 1923.
After Stalybridge resigned from the League later in 1923, he stayed with the club as they joined the Cheshire County League. Mace then joined Nelson in May 1925, where he was understudy Harry Abbott, making his debut against Chesterfield in April 1926. He made 7 more appearances for Nelson towards the end of the following season as they finished fifth in the Third Division (North) before joining Cheshire County League club Macclesfield in the 1927 close season, where he was the first choice ‘keeper throughout his two seasons at The Moss Rose, making 73 appearances for The Silkmen. Macclesfield was his last known club.