Greets Green, West Bromwich born inside forward Fred Roberts began his football career with Thomas Pigot’s Works in 1932 and from there joined First Division Birmingham City, for whom he made his Football League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1933, immediately establishing himself in the Birmingham first team and scoring 8 times in 30 appearances in his debut season. He had scored in his only appearance of the following season, in a 1-0 win at Preston North End towards the end of November, when he was sold to Luton Town in December 1934, scoring in a 4-1 win at Millwall on his Hatters debut.
He helped Luton to runners up in the Third Division (South) in 1935-36, narrowly missing out on promotion, and then to the Championship itself in 1936-37, when he was an ever present, scoring 12 goals over the season. He scored another dozen goals in the Second Division in their first season at the higher level and he stayed as a regular in the Luton first eleven until the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football, effectively ending his career. He had scored 45 goals in 201 appearances for The Hatters by the time War came, and after the War he joined non league Kettering Town in 1945, where he played until retirement.
NB the photograph was taken during a 0-0 draw between West Ham United and Luton Town at Upton Park on 5th March 1938.