Fretwell Hall was born in 1892 in Ecclesfield. He was one of numerous children of Elias Hall, a blacksmith who became a grocer and an official of the West Riding County Council and his wife, Annie. Three older brothers, Ben, Harry and Ellis, also played in the Football League, and a fourth played Midland League football.
Hall began his football career with South Shields of the North-Eastern League in early 1913. His brother Ellis was already on their books, and Ben Hall was to join later. He remained with the club until February 1915, when he signed for Goole Town of the Midland League. Hall served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps during the First World War. Afterwards, a trial with, Derby County, although promising, came to nothing, and he spent the 1919–20 season with Norwich City, for whom he made 30 appearances in the Southern League.
He signed for Brighton & Hove Albion ahead of their debut season in the as Football League as founder members of the newly formed Football League Third Division. His and the club’s first appearance in the Football League was on 28 August 1920, a 2–0 defeat away to Southend United. Competition was fierce for the wing-half position, and Hall made only 11 more first-team appearances in that season.
He moved on to Halifax Town, and again played in his new club’s first Football League match: on 27 August 1921, Halifax lost 2–0 at home to Darlington to in the new Northern Section of the Third Division. He made 52 league appearances in a two-season stay, playing alongside his brother Ellis in 1922–23. He then returned to the Southern League for two seasons, one with Torquay United and one with Peterborougb & Fletton United.