Seaham, County Durham born inside forward Matt Barrass started his career with Seaham Harbour before signing for Second Division club Blackpool in 1919, making his Football League debut against Nottingham Forest in May 1920. From the start of the new season he was a regular in the first eleven, and in his first full season Blackpool finished fourth in the Second Division, and in 1922-23 he scored career best 16 goals as Blackpool finished fifth, Barrass scoring a hat-trick as Blackpool beat Bradford City 3-0 in September 1922.
After six seasons at Bloomfield Road, having scored 54 goals in 174 appearances, Barrass was signed by Sheffield Wednesday in March 1925, having clearly impressed in scoring a hat-trick against Wednesday the previous Christmas Day. In his only full season at Hillsborough he scored 13 goals in their campaign as The Owls won the Second Division Championship. Rather than try his luck in the top flight with Wednesday, Barrass signed for Manchester City in the summer of 1926, the first major purchase made by Peter Hodge for the newly relegated Citizens.
It was at Manchester City that he increasingly started to play in the half back line, in particular at right half. He helped City to win the Second Division Championship in 1927-28, and missed only three matches in their first two seasons back in the First Division, missing only one match as City finished third in the League Championship in 1929-30. However he lost his place in November 1930 and played only 11 more matches for City over the following two and a half seasons before joining non league Ashton National (now Hyde United) in the summer of 1933 after 15 goals in 172 appearances for Manchester City.
His son, Malcolm was also a professional footballer, playing for Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic in the 1940’s and 1950’s, His great-grandson – also named Matt – was also a professional footballer who played for Bury between 1997 and 2005.