Preston, Lancashire born left winger Fred Threlfall began his football career with Hyde United in 1897 and from there joined First Division Manchester City in October 1898, making his Football League debut against Newcastle United exactly a year later. Initially a fringe player, he scored 8 goals in 74 appearances over the next six seasons for City, winning a Second Division Championship medal with them in 1902-03 after their relegation the season before, making 26 appearances during the campaign, the most in any season during his time at Hyde Road. But back in the top flight he soon returned to the fringes of first team action and was not included in their triumphant 1904 FA Cup winning team, playing only once in their 1904-05 campaign before joining Southern League Fulham in May 1905.
At Craven Cottage his career blossomed, being ever present in his debut season and winning the Southern League Championship with them come the season end, also playing in an England trial match, then helping them to retain the Southern League Championship in 1906-07, and he also played in Fulham’s first two seasons in The Football League after their elevation to League status in 1907, scoring 19 times in 107 Southern League, FA Cup and Second Division appearances including lining up in their inaugural League fixture against Hull City that September. In July 1909 he joined Second Division Leicester Fosse scoring 10 goals in 56 matches for The Fossils over the next two seasons before moving to Irish League Cliftonville in 1911, with whom he finished his senior career.
His son, Dickie Threlfall, a right back, played for Bolton Wanderers in wartime football and made 11 first team appearances post the Second World War, playing in 8 FA Cup ties during the first post war FA Cup competition in 1946, including playing in the FA Cup semi final where they lost 2-0 to two Chris Duffy goals for Charlton Athletic in front of nearly 71,000 spectators at Villa Park. Threlfall made 3 First Division appearances in Bolton’s first post war season in 1946-47, as well as 31 appearances for Halifax Town in 1947-48, and played non league football for Mossley and Wellington Town.
NB This photograph was taken on 8th January 1906 before an Amateurs v Professionals England trial match played at Craven Cottage, Fulham, which the Professionals XI won 1-0.
Amateurs (white shirts): Back Row – PH Farnfield, JG Witherington, CD McIver, HA Nulton
Middle Row – SH Day, Vivian Woodward, Herbert Smith, SS Harris (captain)
Front Row – EGD Wright, TS Rowlandson, GC Vassall
Professionals (striped shirts): Back Row – Jimmy Ashcroft, Joe Walton, Archie Cross, Peter Chambers
Middle Row – Walter Bull, Fred Blackburn, Riley, Fred Threlfall
Front Row – Arthur “Pat” Collins, Tim Coleman, Fred Harrison