Following brief spells with Lincoln City and Bradford City, Fred joined the Rovers in the summer of 1924 but had to wait until December to make his debut in a 1-0 win at home to Hartlepool when he was drafted in a replacement to the injured full back Wigglesworth. He made a total of just 11 appearances that season but did play in 4 of the final 5 games, beginning the following season firmly in the first team; he missed just 4 games all year.
A talented and composed player he was primarily used as a left half but he had enough quality to play anywhere in defence. Always reliable and a consistent performer he became a key element in the Rovers team, eventually being made club captain for the start of the 1932-33 season.
It was under his guidance as team captain that Rovers won the third division North championship during the 1934-35 season, again a picture of consistency he played in all of the clubs first 37 league games again providing a key component in the Rovers defence.
It was as a result of this experience as skipper, allied with the high regard with which he was held at Belle Vue that led to his appointment as player manager in 1936, filling the vacancy left by David Menzies departure. He combined playing with the role of manager for a short time, with his final appearance in a Rovers shirt coming away at Tottenham in April 1936 and the following season the team felt his absence on the pitch hard as they conceded 84 league goals and were relegation back to division three.
Emery subsequently enjoyed some success over the next two seasons as manager, guiding the club to runners up spot in division 3 twice, just narrowly missing out on returning the team to the second division before the outbreak of the second world war meant a break in the league structure, with Emery ending his association with the club in 1940.
He went on to manage Carlisle United for a seven year spell between 1951 and 1958, having replaced future Liverpool manager Bill Shankly, before his death a year later in 1959.
A fixture in the Rovers side for over a decade, he holds the record for the highest number of appearances by a Rovers player, making a total of 437 appearances and scoring 31 goals.