Player profile

Fred Pagnam

Fred Pagnam

Birthdate: 4 September 1891
Birthplace: Poulton-Le-Flyde, Lancashire, England
Date of death: 1 March 1962
Other clubs: Lytham, Blackpool Wednesday (1909-10), Huddersfield Town (1910-12), Southport Central (1912-13), Blackpool (1913-14), Arsenal (1919-21), Cardiff City (1921), Watford (1921-26)
Bought from: Blackpool
Signed for LFC: £75, 21.05.1914
Liverpool debut: 10.10.1914
Last appearance: 04.10.1919
Debut goal: 10.10.1914
Last goal: 27.09.1919
Contract expiry: 17.10.1919
Win ratio: 41.03% W:16 D:8 L:15
Games/goals ratio: 1.3
Wartime games/goals: 49 / 43
LFC league games/goals: 37 / 28
Total LFC games/goals: 39 / 30

Player profile

Although his Liverpool career was a brief one, Pagnam was a robust forward who had an outstanding goals-per-game ratio while he was at Anfield. Fred's father had been much averse to his son taking up football as a profession but luckily for Liverpool he didn't get his way. He played for his hometown club before signing for Liverpool in 1914 when he was 23-years-old. Old Liverpool stalwart and former Blackpool player-manager, Jack Cox, recommended Pagnam to Liverpool and according to the Liverpool Echo after he had completed his first season he was "generally recognised as the best find of the year in Division 1 circles." Pagnam scored on his Liverpool debut at Chelsea on 10 October 1914 and three weeks later hit the net four times as Tottenham were crushed 7-2 at Anfield. Pagnam was easily the club’s top-scorer that season with 26 goals from 31 appearances. In 1917, Pagnam gave evidence in the famous match-fixing scandal involving seven Liverpool and Manchester United's players who had taken bribes to let their game end 2-0 in United's favour on Good Friday 1915. Pagnam said he was illegally approached en route to the game and offered £3 by Liverpool's Jackie Sheldon to throw the game, but had refused to participate. Like so many players of his generation, his professional career was cut short by World War I, but he maintained his prolific scoring record for Liverpool in wartime matches, 43 goals in 49 matches.

Pagnam scored four goals in his eight League appearances for Liverpool in the 1919/20 season before joining Arsenal for £1,500, the biggest transfer of the season so far, in October 1919. Pagnam had an impressive scoring record in the First Division with the Gunners; 26 goals in 50 League matches. Despite being the club's top-scorer in his second season he was sold, to raise some much-needed funds, to Cardiff City for £3,000, helping the Welsh side gain promotion to the First Division with eight goals in 14 matches. Pagnam only stayed there for six months after failing to score in his first 13 first division games in the 1921/22 season, suffering the only lean spell of his career. He left Cardiff for Watford in Third Division South for a club record fee of £1,000 in December 1921. The 30-year-old netted 17 goals in 27 games for the rest of the season and scored 32 goals in 45 matches in the following campaign. Pagnam's most famous feat at the Hornets was scoring three hat-tricks in a run of five games. According to Watford historians he was "a non-conformist whose quirky personality was not universally popular." Whilst still a player, he had to apologise to the Watford directors for his behaviour towards his teammates. Pagnam must though have impressed the hierarchy at Vicarage Road as he was Watford's manager from 1926-1929. He also had a spell in charge of the Turkish national team in 1931 and coached in the Netherlands for eight years. His coaching overseas ended when he had to escape the Nazis with his Dutch wife in 1940.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 37 2 0 0 0 39
1914-1915 29 2 0 0 0 31
1919-1920 8 0 0 0 0 8

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
4 Newcastle United
4 Aston Villa
3 Sheffield United
3 Bradford City
2 Bradford Park Avenue
2 Middlesbrough
2 Manchester United
2 Arsenal
2 Tottenham
2 Chelsea
2 Oldham Athletic
2 Manchester City
1 Blackburn Rovers
1 Everton
1 Bolton Wanderers
1 WBA
1 Burnley
1 Stockport County
1 Sheffield Wednesday
1 Sunderland
1 Notts County
Total Competition
37 League
2 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 28 2 0 0 0 30
1914-1915 24 2 0 0 0 26
1919-1920 4 0 0 0 0 4

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
28 League
2 FA Cup
Total Open play/Penalty
30 Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

Season Appearances Goals
1915-1916 34 30
1916-1917 14 13
1917-1918 1 0

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 10.10.1914 Chelsea Stamford Bridge League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 54 10.10.1914 Chelsea Stamford Bridge League

Related Articles

The Good Friday scandal

When Liverpool and Manchester United players conspired to fix their match at Old Trafford in United's favour!More

War ruined career of prolific Red Fred Pagnam

An article by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo.More

Liverpool secure Pagnam

From the Liverpool Echo on 18 June 1914.More

How does Sturridge compare with Liverpool's best?

In Daniel Sturridge's first 25 games for Liverpool there has not been a more prolific striker at that juncture since 1914. But who is on top of that list? Revealed! - the 15 most prolific strikers after playing a quarter of a century of games for the Reds.More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Lytham N/A N/A N/A N/A
Blackpool Wednesday 1909-1910 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Huddersfield Town 1910-1912 England Second Division 0 0 0 0
Southport 1912-1913 Central League 0 0 0 0
Blackpool 1912-1913 England Second Division 2 0 2 0
Blackpool 1913-1914 England Second Division 20 1 20 1
Arsenal 1919-1920 England First Division 25 12 27 13
Arsenal 1920-1921 England First Division 25 14 26 14
Cardiff City 1920-1921 England Second Division 14 8 14 8
Cardiff City 1921-1922 England First Division 13 0 13 0
Watford 1921-1922 England Third Division South 25 16 27 17
Watford 1922-1923 England Third Division South 42 30 45 32
Watford 1923-1924 England Third Division South 22 5 25 5
Watford 1924-1925 England Third Division South 27 6 29 7
Watford 1925-1926 England Third Division South 27 11 30 13
Watford 1926-1927 England Third Division South 1 0 1 0
Total 243 103 259 110
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