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Fred Callaghan RIP

16th September 2022

Fred Callaghan face shot with hand raised waving to the Fulham crowd (out of shot) when recently on the Craven Cottage pitch in 2018

The Trust were saddened to learn of the passing of Fulham legend Fred Callaghan at the age of 77. Board member Dan Crawford reflects on his life and times as a Fulham player.

A tough tackling and adventurous left back well ahead of his time in terms of his marauding runs down the wing and consistent crossing capability, Callaghan was born in Parsons Green in December 1944 and joined Fulham as an apprentice in 1962. He made his debut against Aston Villa in March 1964, quickly establishing himself as a first-team regular at either left back or left half.

Known as ‘Tank,’ Callaghan made 336 appearances – scoring twelve goals – in a decade that was mostly memorable for the Whites sliding out of the top flight into the Third Division towards the end of the 1960s. Fred remained loyal to Fulham and played a pivotal role in the promotion campaign of 1970-71, which saw him pass 200 first-team appearances as Bill Dodgin’s side finish a point behind champions Charlton Athletic to go up from Division Three. He scored a vital equaliser at the Valley following season that relegated the Addicks and secured Fulham’s safety in the Second Division.

Callaghan’s professional career came to a premature end in May 1974 when he suffered a slipped disc. He stayed in the game, enjoying success as a manager with Enfield, Woking and Brentford. After gaining the knowledge, he worked as a cab trainer whilst continuing to coach in non-league football before becoming a popular addition to Fulham’s hospitality team as a host in the Craven Cottage supporter lounges as the Whites returned to the Premier League.

The Trust would like to send our sincerest condolences to Fred’s family and friends on the passing of one of the club’s most special characters.

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