Newcastle born centre half Fred Mavin (sometimes Maven) started his football career as an amateur with Todds Nook in 1900, joining Benwell Adelaide in 1901 and Newcastle United Swifts in 1902, before making a move into senior football with Southern League New Brompton (now Gillingham) in 1905. After four years in Kent he joined Second Division Fulham in June 1909 and made his Football League debut at Stockport County that September. He was a mainstay of the Fulham team that achieved top half finishes every year during his spell at Craven Cottage, before he lost his place in October 1913, and was transferred to Bradford Park Avenue two months later after 27 goals in 149 appearances.
He helped Park Avenue gain promotion to the First Division in 1914 but played only 3 times in the top tier as the First World War cast its shadow, and during the War he saw active service in the Armed Forces. He joined Southern League Reading in July 1919 and when they became a Football League club in 1920 he played in their inaugural Football League fixture at Newport County, scoring 4 times in 27 appearances during 1920-21 before joining non league Boscombe (soon to be Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic) in 1921. He returned to north east football with Shildon Athletic in 1922 before embarking on a career in football management.
His first appointment was at Exeter City in January 1923 where he stayed nearly five years before being appointed manager of Crystal Palace in November 1927. He led Palace to runners up spot in the Third Division (South), narrowly missing out on promotion, in 1929 before leaving in October 1930. He finally joined former club Gillingham in January 1932 and stayed as their manager until May 1937.