Willie Fagan

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Willie Fagan
Personal information
Full name William Fagan[1]
Date of birth 20 February 1917
Place of birth Musselburgh, Scotland
Date of death 29 February 1992(1992-02-29) (aged 75)
Place of death Wellingborough, England
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1934 Wellesley Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1934–1936 Celtic[2] 12 (9)
1936–1937 Preston North End 35 (6)
1937–1952 Liverpool 158 (47)
1952 Distillery
1952–1955 Weymouth
Total 205 (62)
National team
1945 Scotland (wartime) 1 (0)
Teams managed
1952–1955 Weymouth
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William "Willie" Fagan (20 February 1917 – 29 February 1992) was a Scottish footballer, who played for Celtic, Preston North End and Liverpool.

Football career[edit]

Fagan started his career as a teenager at Celtic and moved on to Preston where he would link up with future Anfield managerial great Bill Shankly who was playing for the club at the time. They reached the FA Cup final of 1937 but lost the game 3-1 to Sunderland.

Liverpool manager George Kay then took Willie to Anfield where he made his debut, along with John Shafto, on 23 October 1937 in a 1-1 league draw with Leicester at Anfield. Willie scored his first Liverpool goal a week later on 30 October in a 3-2 league win over Sunderland at Roker Park.

While playing at Liverpool, Fagan went straight into the line-up in his favoured inside-left position, although he did appear as a centre-forward for the club, he end his initial season at the club with nine goals in 36 matches. He followed this up by scoring 15 times, one behind top scorer Berry Nieuwenhuys and missing only just three matches of the 1938–39 campaign.

The Second World War interrupted Fagan's career for six years and it took away the majority of his best years. Willie played as a wartime guest for Aldershot, Leicester, Northampton, Newcastle, Chelsea, Millwall and Reading.

Fagan returned to Merseyside upon the conclusion of the war and played 22 (18 league) matches scoring seven goals (all league) as Liverpool won the first post-war 1st Division championship by the end of the 1946–47 season.

He also gained his only international recognition during World War Two when he appeared for Scotland, unfortunately these appearances are regarded as 'unofficial' internationals.[3]

Injury made his appearances during the 1947–48 and 1948–49 seasons very irregular but he bounced back in the 1949–50 season as he helped the Reds to their very first Wembley cup final on 29 April 1950. Fagan made 42 appearances, seven in the FA Cup, scoring 11 goals which 4 of them in the cup run. Arsenal won the final 2-0 in front of the 100,000 crowd, the second time Willie had been on the losing side in a cup final.

Willie made just four appearances during the following campaign and three during the first half of the 1951–52 season. Fagan was allowed to leave Liverpool in January 1952 and he joined Northern Irish club Belfast Distillery where he played for a short time. Willie then headed back to England where in took on a player/manager role at Weymouth. After hanging up his boots, Willie became a Borstal officer, an occupation he held until his retirement in 1982.

Willie died in February 1992 in Wellingborough. He was 75 years old.



  1. ^ "Willie Fagan". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Fagan, William". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Willie Fagan". www.londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

External links[edit]