• Fred Else

  • Fred at the end of the line, training photo 1960

    Fred Else PNE
  • Fred Else with Tom Finney at Tom's last game

    Fred Else PNE
  • Fred Else in action

    Fred Else PNE
  • Fred Else - North End Great

    Fred Else PNE
  • Fred Else, one of Preston North End’s best-ever goalkeepers, has been an active member of our Association since our inception back in 1998, despite spending a number of years living in Cyprus.

  • Early Days

    Fred Else PNEFred, born in Golbourne, near Wigan, started playing football in the Wigan & District Junior League for Standish St. Wilfred’s. In his youth he was employed in a large cotton mill as a clerical work processor. When Fred was called up to do his National Service, he was stationed at Fenham Barracks, based in Newcastle in the North East. He ably assisted the regimental team in mid-week and turned out for a local team, Axwell Park Colliery Welfare FC, in the Derwent Valley League, at the weekends. They were nicknamed the ‘Home Guard Team’. The club changed its name to Whickham FC in 1962, and have since won the FA Vase at Wembley!

  • North End Junior

    Fred’s displays inevitably meant that several football league clubs were alerted, and offers of trials followed. He took up Preston North End’s invitation for a trial over the Easter period, 1953. Fred agreed to sign amateur forms for PNE to monitor his development. His performances with the North End junior teams led to him being signed as a part-time professional in August 1953. Fred Else PNEA full-time professional contract followed that November. With no transfer fees involved in signing Fred, both his former teams wrote in to the Club asking for, and receiving, donations for his services. In total it cost Preston North End just over £128 for a player who developed into one of the country’s best goalkeepers of the 1950’s era. A real bargain

  • Senior Career

    Fred eventually made his league debut on 6th March 1954, against Manchester City in a 4-0 win. However, due to George Thompson’s own consistency between the sticks, Fred was limited to 14 games over three seasons. Once established he was virtually ever-present for the ‘Lilywhites’, totting up 238 appearances. He was a consistently sound custodian who relied on his good positional sense rather than being an over acrobatic type goalkeeper. Fred had the honour of playing for England ‘B’ against Scotland ‘B’ during the 1956-57 season and again the following season against a Sheffield Select X1 to help celebrate Sheffield’s centenary.

  • fred_else_caricature It has been said that Fred was probably the best uncapped goalkeeper of the 1950’s era. However, in May 1961, he was selected to represent the FA on a six week tour of Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. Tom Finney (who had retired from the professional game) was chosen to be the tours player/manager and the squad also included a young Bobby Moore and Ray Charnley of Blackpool, who had been released by PNE as a youth.

  • Blackburn Days

    On his return, Fred was destined never to play for Preston North End again as he was reluctantly transferred to near neighbours, Blackburn Rovers, for £17,000, a huge profit on what Preston had paid out for him. Fred, who had made 238 appearances for PNE, went on to tot up another 221 games for the Rovers. His last league club was Barrow until his retirement from the game in 1970, having amassed over 600 games in his illustrious career. Fred took up teaching in Barrow, as a career after retiring from soccer, teaching Mathematics and Geography

    Fred Else, a true professional, a gentleman and good friend of our Association.

  • Caricature by kind permission of Bob Bond. Words by Ian Rigby.