Morley Fred Image 1 Brentford 1920

Morley Fred Image 1 Brentford 1920


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Burslem, Staffordshire born inside forward Fred Morley began his football career with Chesterton White Star from where he joined Southern League club Reading in 1908, from where he transferred to Second Division club Blackpool after a single season at Elm Park in the 1909 close season, making his Football League debut at Manchester City that September, playing outside right. He soon established himself as a first team regular for The Seasiders, playing mainly at inside and outside right, and despite missing the early months of the 1910-11 campaign he was Blackpool’s second top scorer behind Joe Clennell with 11 goals including a hat-trick in a win over Lincoln City in November 1911 as Blackpool finished seventh in the division.

After a further season at Bloomfield Road when he often played at inside left, he joined Midland League club Goole Town in 1912 after 22 goals in 84 appearances for Blackpool, but his career was halted by the onset of the First World War, during which Morley served in The Royal Garrison Artillery. He signed for Brentford in August 1918, helping them to win the 1918-19 London Combination title, and played in their final Southern League campaign in 1919-20 before their elevation to Football League status, when they joined the new Third Division in the summer of 1920, and he played in Brentford’s inaugural League fixture in a defeat at Exeter City that August. However he injured his knee in early 1921 and after 8 goals in 48 appearances for The Bees, 17 of which came in his final season when he mainly played at inside left.

Like many players in the early 1920’s Morley then moved to the United States to play in the nascent American Soccer League. In the autumn of 1921 he signed with Philadelphia Field Club. Philadelphia was created when Bethlehem Steel moved to Philadelphia for the inaugural ASL season. A powerhouse team, Philadelphia took the League Championship, but the ownership moved the back to Bethlehem at the end of the season. After 6 goals in 21 appearances Morley moved to J&P Coats for one season where he scored once in 19 matches before he joined the Fall River Marksmen in 1923. During his four seasons in Fall River, Morley and his teammates won three League titles and two National Challenge Cup titles. While Morley was never a prolific goal scorer, scoring 17 goals in 80 appearances for Fall River, in the 1924 National Challenge Cup Final he scored two goals as The Marksmen defeated St. Louis Vesper Buick 4-2. Morley’s career records have another gap between 1927 and 1928 when he is not listed with any team. In 1928, he re-signed with J&P Coats, but played only two matches before retiring. Following his retirement, he coached the Fall River Marksmen.

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