Scottish inside-forward forward Willie Fagan was a promising 19-year-old when he joined Preston from Celtic in October 1936.
Fagan was in Preston's line-up that lost in the 1937 FA Cup final versus Sunderland 1-3. The following October Fagan joined Liverpool after only one year's stay at Preston. He went straight into the Liverpool team, playing in 31 consecutive matches by the end of the season and scoring eight times. He only missed three league games in 1938-39, scoring 14 goals and he also played in the opening three fixtures of the 1939-40 season before the Second World War caused the league programme to be abandoned. It resulted in Willie's Liverpool career being severely curtailed at the age of 22.
Unlike some of his colleagues, he was young enough to re-establish himself at Anfield when league football resumed in 1946. He was linked with a move to Second Division Bradford Park Avenue, but refused to move and that proved to be beneficial for Fagan and Liverpool.
Fagan made enough appearances to qualify for a well-deserved championship medal in 1947. Although called on sporadically, mostly due to injury, in 1947-48 & 1948-49, he had one of his best seasons as a new decade dawned, helping his club to their first-ever Wembley final in 1950.
Approaching his mid-30s by the time the next season opened, Willie's Anfield career was nearing its close and he played his final game for the club against Huddersfield on the first day of September 1951. If the war hadn't taken so many playing years away from him, there seems little doubt that a fine Liverpool career would have been a great one.
Other clubs: Celtic, Preston; Aldershot, Leicester, Northampton, Newcastle, Chelsea, Millwall and Reading (wartime guest); Belfast Distillery, Weymouth (amateur)