Tom Fairfoul

Tom Fairfoul


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Tom Fairfoul was born in West Calder, Scotland, on 16th January 1881. A right-half he played for Kilmarnock and Third Lanark in the Scottish League. After playing in over 200 league games he joined Liverpool in August 1913.

Fairfoul was a great success in the Football League and after making his debut in September 1913 was a regular in the first-team. Tony Matthews (Who's Who of Liverpool) claimed "he proved to be an excellent signing and gave the Reds defence extra stability during the last two seasons prior to the Great War". Fairfoul also appeared in the FA Cup Final against Burnley in April 1914. Unfortunately, Liverpool lost 1-0.

On 2nd April, 1915, Fairfoul played in the side that was beaten 2-0 by Manchester United. Afterwards, bookmakers claimed that they had taken a great deal of money on the 7-1 odds offered on a 2-0 United victory. They suspected that the game had been fixed and pointed out that late in the game, Jackie Sheldon, had missed a penalty. The bookmakers decided not to pay out on the result and offered a £50 reward for information that would unmask the conspirators.

The Sporting Chronicle newspaper took up the story and claimed that they discovered evidence that players on both sides had got together to concoct a 2-0 scoreline. The newspaper also argued that some of the players had large bets on the result.

The Football League announced it would carry out its own investigation into the case. It published its report in December 1915. It concluded that "a considerable amount of money changed hands by betting on the match and... some of the players profited thereby."

Fairfoul was found guilty of this offence and was banned for playing professional football for life. Three other Liverpool players: Tommy Miller, Jackie Sheldon and Bob Pursell were also banned. The same sentence was imposed on three Manchester United players: Enoch West, Sandy Turnbull and Arthur Whalley. An eighth player, Laurence Cook, who played for Stockport County, was also convicted of being a member of the betting ring.

Tom Fairfoul worked as a taxi-driver in Liverpool before his death in 1952.


This Day In Football History

On 27 December 1915, the FA issued lifetime bans against seven Manchester United and Liverpool players for participating in a match-fixing scheme the previous season.

The match in question was played on 2 April 1915, near the end of the season. United were in 18th place, only one point clear of relegation, while Liverpool were sitting comfortably in 13th, not in danger of relegation, but out of contention for any silverware. United won 2-0, thanks in part to a missed Liverpool penalty.

Rumors swirled immediately about a fix, prompting the FA to investigate. They determined that seven players--Sandy Turnbull (pictured), Arthur Whalley, and Enoch West from United Jackie Sheldon, Tom Miller, Bob Pursell, and Tom Fairfoul from Liverpool--had colluded to determine the outcome. The motivation appeared to be financial, with all seven players placing bets on United to win. But the two points helped United's survival, as they finished 1 point above the relegation zone. West vehemently denied any involvement, even suing the FA--unsuccessfully-for libel.

All seven participants received lifetime bans, though all but West's were eventually lifted in 1919 in recognition of their service during World War I. In Turnbull's case, the reprieve was posthumous, as he died in action.


F365: Ranking Liverpool’s 19 one-game captains for no reason

19) Tom Fairfoul (6-3 defeat to Aston Villa, 28/11/1914)
Has a defensive player ever had a better surname? Tom Fairfoul did not score in two years at Liverpool, played in the 1914 FA Cup final and was banned, later to be reinstated, by the FA for his part in the 1915 betting scandal. He was given the Anfield armband in a league meeting with Aston Villa, which the Liverpool Post described as ‘one of the most remarkable games’ ever witnessed on Merseyside, when the hosts ‘blundered badly’ throughout.

18) Rickie Lambert (2-2 draw with Middlesbrough, 14-13 on penalties, 23/9/2014)
Most bands lose their mystique and appeal when they go mainstream. Rickie Lambert and the Beetroot Factory Experience signing up with Liverpool’s major label was no different. The striker himself admitted he “lost something mentally” by joining his boyhood club at 32, and three goals in his solitary season certainly supports that theory. He wasn’t even on the pitch when Liverpool finally scraped a mammoth penalty shoot-out win over Middlesbrough in the 2014/15 League Cup third round.

Rickie Lambert Liverpool captain. He's living the dream isn't he.

— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) September 23, 2014

17) Pedro Chirivella (5-0 defeat to Aston Villa, 17/12/2019)
Jurgen Klopp might have been “completely over the moon” with “probably the best player on the pitch”, but most realised that handing Pedro Chirivella the responsibility of picking heads or tails before kick-off was little more than a token appreciation of the Spaniard’s patience. He was also something of a sacrificial lamb, captaining that 5-0 League Cup quarter-final defeat to Aston Villa last December.

16) Jon Flanagan (3-2 defeat to Southampton, 20/3/2016)
It must have been the actual erection that followed his goal in a 5-0 thrashing of Tottenham in December 2013 that convinced Liverpool of Jon Flanagan’s stiff leadership credentials. How ridiculous to think that he captained a Jurgen Klopp team four years ago. The full-back made just two further Premier League appearances for the Reds after captaining a 3-2 defeat to Southampton that Jordan Henderson and James Milner decided to sit out.

15) Christian Benteke (2-2 draw with Exeter, 8/1/2016)
Michael Edwards is a witch. This much is common knowledge. But his ability to claw back 㿇m of Liverpool’s 㿌.5m outlay on Christian Benteke after one disappointing year was the moment he jumped the shark. The Belgian scored ten goals in 42 games, the victim of circumstance as a striker signed by Brendan Rodgers was far too immobile and limited for the approach of Jurgen Klopp. But he did find time for a bicycle-kick against Manchester United, a winning goal against champions Leicester and a game as a captain against Exeter. Not bad, all in all.

14) Sotirios Kyrgiakos (2-2 draw with Northampton, 2-4 on penalties, 22/9/2010)
“I’ll have to give it some thought but there are two possibilities,” said Roy Hodgson in December 2010, scanning a Liverpool squad bereft of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and considering his captaincy candidates. “Pepe Reina is one, and in some ways he’s the obvious choice, but there’s also Soto Kyrgiakos.” The former would skipper the side 24 times in total Kyrgiakos led a chastening defeat to Northampton three months prior and would never be given a chance to rectify it.

Kyrgiakos is a bit left-field for choice of captain, but he's a leader from the back. Perhaps suggests he'll play even if Agger fit?

— Paul Tomkins (@paul_tomkins) November 30, 2010

13) Jose Enrique (3-0 win over Exeter, 20/1/2016)
While his only two seasons as a Liverpool regular came in that murky transitional period between Kenny Dalglish’s last and Brendan Rodgers’ first campaigns, Jose Enrique left Anfield in 2016 as a valued and popular professional. Between winning the League Cup, going in net and keeping a clean sheet for the final 13 minutes of a game against Newcastle and captaining a comfortable FA Cup replay win over Exeter, he did it all.

12) Phil Babb (1-0 defeat to Derby, 10/5/1998)
With third place secured, Roy Evans saw fit to give Phil Babb a chance to impress on the final day of the 1997/98 Premier League season. He captained a defeat to Derby at Pride Park, falling at the same hurdle as most mere mortals: Paulo Wanchope. Once the most expensive defender in Britain, Babb won the 1995 League Cup but never really connected on Merseyside, save for with that post against Chelsea in October 1998.

11) Mamadou Sakho (1-1 draw with Bordeaux, 17/9/2015)
The circumstances are truly regrettable, but there is something beautiful about Mamadou Sakho’s last two starts for Liverpool coming in that glorious week in April 2016, when he scored in dramatic Anfield wins over both Borussia Dortmund and Everton. Earlier that season, the centre-half who assisted the slip put in an imperious man-of-the-match performance as captain away at Bordeaux. Was he really Liverpool’s “best defender” when they sold him?

10) Percy Saul (3-2 win over Aston Villa, 1/9/1908)
The only Percy in Liverpool history was, according to a club programme in September 1907, a ‘most erratic’ and ‘remarkably speedy’ full-back whose ‘flashes of great brilliance’ were ‘darkened by a number of unaccountable mistakes’. Alberto Moreno, basically. Saul skippered the Reds once in the last of his three seasons during a relatively low-scoring meeting with Aston Villa.

9) Joe Allen (0-0 draw with West Ham, 30/1/2016)
No team had more players at Euro 2016 than Liverpool, yet few would be able to name the three Reds that progressed furthest in the tournament. Danny Ward and Emre Can joined Joe Allen in the semi-finals as Brendan Rodgers’s illegitimate son earned himself a move to high-flying Stoke a few weeks later. The Northern Irishman clearly believed in either tough love or not being shown to have any favourites, mind, for it was his successor who let Allen have a go behind the wheel before he finally left.

Liverpool have never lost a game when Joe Allen is captain

Is there anything the Welsh Xavi can't do??

— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) January 30, 2016

8) Curtis Jones (1-0 win over Shrewsbury, 5/2/2020)
“It’s a dream come true,” said teenager Curtis Jones after leading his boyhood club out for the first time this January. Such fantasies presumably involved Liverpool’s actual manager actually managing him but Jurgen Klopp watched from afar as Steven Gerrard’s successor helped the youngest starting line-up in club history overcome League One opposition in the FA Cup. It surely won’t be his last game as captain.

7) Ronald Orr (3-2 win over Manchester United, 9/10/1909)
FA Cup finalist and two-time league champion for Newcastle. Scorer on his Liverpool debut. Captain of a win over Manchester United at Anfield. Nicknamed ‘Cristiano’ by his teammates.

6) Kevin Baron (1-1 draw with Fulham, 1/3/1952)
Lodged between Divock Origi (33) and John Arne Riise (31) on 32 goals for Liverpool is Kevin (de) Baron, whose nine years with the club coincided with their first steps out of the shadows of World War II. He failed to break into the side that won the 1946/47 First Division but was a regular by the time the Reds played their first Wembley final in 1950’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal. Two years later, he led them out in a draw with Fulham, and two years after that he departed for Southend upon Liverpool’s most recent relegation.

5) Jimmy Melia (0-0 draw with Fulham, 20/4/1963)
Though he would later find critical success with the release of seminal classic Superstar in 2003, Jimmy Melia first completed a decade of service to Liverpool in the 1950s and 1960s. He signed professional forms with the club in November 1954, a matter of months after their relegation to the Second Division, and became an esteemed member of the side Bill Shankly would take to the summit of the English game thereafter. The striker left for Wolves in March of their title-winning season of 1963/64, but had already played enough games to earn himself a medal.

4) Jock McNab (1-0 win over Tottenham, 13/4/1927)
Good lord, that’s Scottish. A Liverpool Echo reporter described Jock McNab as ‘a real hard nut’ who was once sent off for throwing mud at a Newcastle player, and there is probably a reason he remains nameless. The half-back enjoyed a nine-year association with Liverpool that incorporated the club’s third and fourth league championships and a captain’s victory against Tottenham shortly before his departure in 1928.

3) Jan Molby (2-1 win over Apollon Limassol, 29/9/1992)
Both Liverpool and Jan Molby’s best years were behind them by the time the Dane captained a European Cup Winners’ Cup victory over Apollon Limassol in September 1992. The midfielder’s contribution to five major trophies in 12 years at Anfield ranged from seven appearances in an injury-hit title-winning 1987/88 season to an inspirational display in the first all-Merseyside FA Cup final two years prior. He ate all the pies, shook the Kop and out-passed pretty much any opponent he encountered.

Just watched highlights of the 1986 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 3-1 Everton. Jan Molby was absolutely sensational in that game, got 2 assists & also played a part in the 3rd goal aswell. What a player /> />

— Spion Kop* (@TheKopHQ) May 9, 2020

2) Gordon Hodgson (drew 0-0 with Derby, 14/3/1931)
Most fans would instinctively wince at the surname but Gordon was no Roy. The striker resides third on a list of all-time Liverpool goalscorers, and fourth in English top-flight history, sandwiched between Dixie Dean and Alan Shearer. He really did deserve more silverware but foolishly timed his birth to mean he played throughout one of Liverpool’s rare genuine barren spells.

1) Elisha Scott (3-1 defeat to Everton, 1/10/1932)
His place of 18th in Liverpool’s list of overall appearance makers rather masks Elisha Scott’s Anfield omnipresence. The goalkeeper played 468 times for the club even after losing four years of his career to the Second World War. Scott remains the club’s longest-serving player ever yet still captained them only once, and that was a bloody Merseyside derby defeat. Sometimes there’s no justice.


Fairfoul Tom Image 1 Liverpool 1913

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West Calder, Lothian born right half Tom Fairfoul started his football career with Lanark Athletic in 1902 and played for Petna in 1903 before joining Scottish League Kilmarnock in 1904, making his Scottish League debut against Hibernian that October, where he soon built a reputation as a solid right half, scoring 8 goals in 49 appearances over the next two seasons. In the 1906 close season he moved to Third Lanark where he featured in 247 matches in the Scottish First Division, scoring 27 goals for The Warriors, and he gained representative honours for The Scottish League, playing in a 2-1 win over The Irish League in Belfast in February 1909.

He signed for Liverpool in May 1913 making his Football League debut at Derby County that September and he was a regular in the Liverpool side in the two years that preceded the First World War. He played in every one of the 38 First Division matches in 1913-14 and made a further 24 appearances the following season. Nine FA Cup ties over the same period, including an appearance in the 1914 FA Cup Final defeat by Burnley at The Crystal Palace, brought his career total for Liverpool to 71 matches.

However he will always be a name synonymous with the Manchester United v Liverpool betting scandal of Easter 1915. Fairfoul, along with three Liverpool players (Tom Miller, Bob Pursell, Jackie Sheldon) and three United players, was found guilty of fixing a game between Liverpool and Manchester United on Good Friday 1915. Bookies had laid up to 8-1 against United winning 2-0 which is how it ended. He was given a life ban from football, however for his service to his country in the trenches Fairfoul’s life ban from the game was later lifted, however he had already quit playing altogether during the War.


List of Liverpool F.C. players (25–99 appearances)

Liverpool Football Club is an English association football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. The club was formed in 1892 following a disagreement between the board of Everton and club president John Houlding, who owned the club's ground, Anfield. The disagreement between the two parties over rent resulted in Everton moving to Goodison Park from Anfield, which left Houlding with an empty stadium. Thus, he founded Liverpool F.C. to play in the empty stadium. [1] Liverpool won the First Division title for the first time in 1901 since then, the club has won a further 17 league titles, along with seven FA Cups and eight League Cups. They have also been crowned champions of European football on six occasions by winning the European Cup/UEFA Champions League in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005 and 2019. [2] The club was one of 22 members of the Premier League when it was formed in 1992. They experienced the most successful period in their history under the management of Bob Paisley, who guided the team to 21 trophies in nine seasons. [3]

Since playing their first match, more than 700 players have appeared in competitive first-team matches for the club, many of whom have played between 25 and 99 matches (including substitute appearances). Jim Beglin and Álvaro Arbeloa both made 98 appearances for the club, before an injury to Beglin and Arbeloa's sale to Real Madrid ended their Liverpool careers. [4] [5] Ned Doig who appeared 53 times for the club, is the oldest player to have played for Liverpool. He was 41 years and 165 days when he played against Newcastle United on 11 April 1908. [6] Frank Becton, who made 86 appearances for Liverpool, was the first player from the club to represent his country, when he played for England in 1897. [7]

202 players have played between 25 and 99 competitive matches for the club. Of those players, eight are still playing for the club and can add to their total.


We will not suspend the league for a war”

In the year 1915, although the First World War, He had already broken out since the previous, the English Football Association, He decided to continue with competitions. "We will not suspend the league for a war", said federation president, getting his government, also, that professional footballers could not be called up until the league competition 1914-15 finalize. A controversial decision was harshly criticized by the British society at the time.

In any case, the 3 April last league game was played. A Liverpool in the middle of the table, and not playing anything, He went to the nearby Manchester United to face the decline was played in an indirect duel with Chelsea London to accompany the Tottenham Hotspur a la First Division, the second tier of English professional football.


2nd April 1915. Football Bribery.

It was Today on Good Friday in 1915 which featured a Division I match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford which United won 2-0, thus avoiding relegation. However even the referee and observers noticed the lack of commitment of Liverpool.

The reason later revealed was gambling on the match results, in this case placed in United’s favour.

It involved seven players of both sides at a time when United were struggling with relegation whilst Liverpool were mid-table.

One possible reason for such action could have been a notion that their footballing days were numbered, with the turmoil of World War I and that the Football League was to discontinue at the end of the season.

The ring-leader Jackie Sheldon and others, including the ironically named, Tom Fairfoul were banned for life, which was lifted for those that survived in 1919, for their ‘contribution to the war effort’.(1)

However Enoch West, of United having lost a legal battle with the FA had to wait until 1945 when he was 59, for his ban to be removed.

A few years earlier a scandal involved Manchester City players and the legendary Billy Meredith who was to plead his innocence of bribing an Aston Villa player in the last match of the season

Keen to spread the blame Meredith said that corruption was rife within the club and it later emerged that City had been paying over the maximum of £4 a match, 4 times a labourer’s wages.

Whatever the truth Meredith was banned for 18 months by City. Manager Tom Malley was suspended for life, 5 directors were dismissed and 17 players suspended, only to be lifted at the end of December 1906 when the club realised they needed the players.

City’s loss was United ‘s gain as Meredith before his ban lifted joined United who won the 1907-8 Championship.

Fast forward to December 1962 when Jim Gauld, ex-youth international, was the ‘mastermind’ of a gambling syndicate behind arrangements for three games to be fixed.(2)

It appears he was drawn to the idea back in 1959-60 when a ‘friend’ told him Mansfield had been paid by Tranmere Rovers to throw the game. This at a time when players were earning £60 a week, five times an average weekly wage.

It wasn’t until April 1964 that the Sunday People printed revelations-a double edged sword-for they paid Gauld £7,000 for his story, twice what he had made from his nefarious activities.

Gauld, as ringleader, got 4 years at Nottingham Assizes in 1965 33 players were also convicted, at a trial when tape-recorded evidence became first admissible.

Others were caught up in the scandal when in 1963 three Bristol Rovers footballers admitted taking bribes to lose matches. One was the goalkeeper with the ‘hopeful’ name of Esmond Million who sold his reputation for a £100. All were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, fined and banned for life.

One can assume with the big bucks paid to footballers now, bribery is a lost art: sex scandals seem to be the fashion!

(2) Lincoln at home, to lose to Brentford York to lose at Oldham, and in the old First Division, Sheffield Wednesday to lose at Ipswich.

Ref: Daily Express 1.12.2013/Match Fixing.

Ref: Independent. 17.3.1995. Derek Hodgson. 60’s Scandal that Rocked the Game.


2nd April 1915. Football Bribery.

It was Today on Good Friday in 1915 which featured a Division I match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford which United won 2-0, thus avoiding relegation. However even the referee and observers noticed the lack of commitment of Liverpool.

The reason later revealed was gambling on the match results, in this case placed in United’s favour.

It involved seven players of both sides at a time when United were struggling with relegation whilst Liverpool were mid-table.

One possible reason for such action could have been a notion that their footballing days were numbered, with the turmoil of World War I and that the Football League was to discontinue at the end of the season.

The ring-leader Jackie Sheldon and others, including the ironically named, Tom Fairfoul were banned for life, which was lifted for those that survived in 1919, for their ‘contribution to the war effort’.(1)

However Enoch West, of United having lost a legal battle with the FA had to wait until 1945 when he was 59, for his ban to be removed.

A few years earlier a scandal involved Manchester City players and the legendary Billy Meredith who was to plead his innocence of bribing an Aston Villa player in the last match of the season

Keen to spread the blame Meredith said that corruption was rife within the club and it later emerged that City had been paying over the maximum of £4 a match, 4 times a labourer’s wages.

Whatever the truth Meredith was banned for 18 months by City. Manager Tom Malley was suspended for life, 5 directors were dismissed and 17 players suspended, only to be lifted at the end of December 1906 when the club realised they needed the players.

City’s loss was United ‘s gain as Meredith before his ban lifted joined United who won the 1907-8 Championship.

Fast forward to December 1962 when Jim Gauld, ex-youth international, was the ‘mastermind’ of a gambling syndicate behind arrangements for three games to be fixed.(2)

It appears he was drawn to the idea back in 1959-60 when a ‘friend’ told him Mansfield had been paid by Tranmere Rovers to throw the game. This at a time when players were earning £60 a week, five times an average weekly wage.

It wasn’t until April 1964 that the Sunday People printed revelations-a double edged sword-for they paid Gauld £7,000 for his story, twice what he had made from his nefarious activities.

Gauld, as ringleader, got 4 years at Nottingham Assizes in 1965 33 players were also convicted, at a trial when tape-recorded evidence became first admissible.

Others were caught up in the scandal when in 1963 three Bristol Rovers footballers admitted taking bribes to lose matches. One was the goalkeeper with the ‘hopeful’ name of Esmond Million who sold his reputation for a £100. All were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, fined and banned for life.

One can assume with the big bucks paid to footballers now, bribery is a lost art: sex scandals seem to be the fashion!

(2) Lincoln at home, to lose to Brentford York to lose at Oldham, and in the old First Division, Sheffield Wednesday to lose at Ipswich.

Ref: Daily Express 1.12.2013/Match Fixing.

Ref: Independent. 17.3.1995. Derek Hodgson. 60’s Scandal that Rocked the Game.


Practice Games Get Players Ready For New Season

After winning promotion back to the 1st Division at the first attempt, Liverpool’s players got ready for the new season by playing two ‘Blues versus Whites’ practice games at Anfield.

The first game took place on Thursday 20th August 1896 and attracted a crowd of 15,000, higher than all but one of the regular league fixtures in the 2nd Division the previous season. The ground was reported by the Liverpool Mercury to be in capital condition and players were said ‘to have showed evidence of careful training’, but the result was not recorded.

It was apparent looking at the line-ups though that each side was a mixture of 1st teamers and reserves, with the regular forwards playing together and trying to score against the first choice back line, with the reserve players doing the same. The reason that it was blues against whites was because at that time Liverpool still hadn’t adopted red shirts.

The next practice game was on Friday 28th August, by which time new secretary-manager Tom Watson, had officially taken up his role having travelled down to Liverpool from Sunderland the previous Sunday. This time, the forward lines were mixed up somewhat meaning that the ‘Blues’ were comfortably expected to win as their side contained more regular first team players. However there was an upset when the Whites won 3-0, the Mercury commenting that it was hoped the efforts of some players would be ‘more judiciously directed’ when the season proper began.


Watch the video: Talking Tom Says yes