Fred Mavin (Maven)

Birth Date

23rd September 1884



Biographical Text

The Grecians were at a low ebb when they secured the services of Geordie, Fred Mavin as manager. However after a difficult start he left the club in a far better place then the position he found them.

A serious injury to his left knee brought an end to his football league career with Reading in 1921. He struggled for a further season with Southern League with Boscombe, but was forced to give up.
He had previously played for New Brompton (Gillingham), Fulham and Bradford. Whilst with Fulham he created a record run of apperances as an attacking centre-half.

Football managers endure a lot of difficulties and angst and it would be interesting to find out how Fred felt when he was appointed manager on the 23rd January 1923. A few weeks earlier the City had been knocked out of the qualifying round of the FA Cup, losing 2-1 at home to Bath City, an event described in the local press as a 'crowning failure". Mavin surely faced an uphill struggle.

He set about his task by signing some excellent players, goalkeeper Harry Bailey, full backs Stan Charlton and Charlie Miller, wingers Billy Compton and George Purcell and half-back Jock Ditchburn.

However, more importantly, Mavin was responsible for signing and nurturing three prestigious players:
Cliff Bastin (Arsenal and England), Harold Hougton and Wilf Lowton.

In 1924-25, City had one of their most successful seasons, finishing 7th and in 1925 Mavin signed another outstanding player Billy McDevitt.

In 1927, Mavin left to join an ambitious Crystal Palace, it was such an improved offer and was impossible to refuse.

He was manager at Palace from 1927 to 1930 and Gillingham from 1932 to 1937.

He died in 1957





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