Fred Arthur was born on March 6, 1961 in Toronto, Ontario. A standout defenseman for the Cornwall Royals, he was selected 8th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. As a member of the Royals, Arthur was twice a Memorial Cup Champion (1980 & 1981).
Though the Whalers had high hopes for Arthur, he was shipped to Philadelphia as part of a ten-player trade after appearing in just three games for the club. The following season Arthur established himself as a responsible defensive defenseman for the Flyers, often being called upon by head coach Pat Quinn, along with defense partner Jimmy Watson, to shut down the opposition's best snipers.
Prior to the 1982-83 season, Arthur suffered a thigh injury that would cause him to miss much of the exhibition season. He would appear in just three more games for the Flyers before deciding to retire to chase another dream, that of becoming a doctor. He attended the University of Western Ontario.