Former Clarets Defender Sadly Passes Away

Fred Smith (1942 – 2020)

Burnley Football Club have this evening confirmed that former Clarets defender Frederick (Freddie) Smith has sadly passed away at the age of seventy-seven. He was recommended to Burnley by Jack Hixon while playing for Northumberland Schoolboys and joined the Clarets in January 1958 as an amateur.

During the 1958/1959 season he regularly featured for the Colts before breaking in to the ‘B’ team towards the end of the season. In the early 1960’s Freddie established himself in the reserve team at Turf Moor and became an accomplished right-back. He helped the Clarets win back-to-back Central League Championships in 1961/1962 and 1962/1963.

In November 1963 he made his first-team debut against Stoke City at the Victoria Ground where he played as a left-back. He continued to figure for the Clarets but due to the form of dependable John Angus at right-back struggled to sustain a regularly place in the first team. He featured for the Clarets in their Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign in 1966/1967 and played in the famous ill-tempered tie in Naples.

Season 1968/1969 saw Freddie feature in 29 league and cup games, although the following season his first-team appearances were again limited. Freddie was sold to Portsmouth in 1970 for a fee of £10,000 and he went on to make over 80 league appearances for the south-coast club. He moved to Dallas Tornado in 1973 prior to returning to England to play briefly for Halifax Town in 1974.

In total Freddie made a total of 107 appearances in league and cup competitions for the Clarets, scoring on one occasion against Arsenal in May, 1967. After retiring from football, he became a milkman before running a newsagent’s and also a restaurant in Nelson. He died in Burnley and leaves wife Jean with children Julian and Amanda.

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