Mellor, Lancashire born outside left Fred Blackburn joined Blackburn Rovers in 1897 from local club Mellor, making his Football League debut at Notts County in March 1898, establishing himself as a regular in Rovers’ first eleven from the start of the 1899-1900 season, his best season for Rovers in terms of goalscoring, when he scored 11 goals including an FA Cup hat-trick in a win over Southern League Portsmouth in February 1900.
He made his England debut in March 1901 scoring in a 2-2 draw with Scotland at The Crystal Palace. His second cap came a year later against Ireland in Belfast and his final England appearance came in April 1904 at Hampden Park against Scotland. He also represented The Football League once. In eight seasons at Blackburn he scored 31 goals in 206 appearances, and he moved to Southern League West Ham United in May 1905 playing another eight seasons, scoring 28 goals in 238 games. He retired in 1913.
Blackburn served in the Merchant Navy during the First World War and afterwards worked as a coach at Barking.
His older brother Arthur also played for Blackburn Rovers and Southampton.