Chesterfield, Derbyshire born goalkeeper Harold Gough began his football career with Spital Olympic in 1909 and played for Castleford Town in 1910, from where he joined Second Division Bradford Park Avenue early in 1911 for a fee of £30, making his Football League debut against Bolton Wanderers on 11th February 1911 and playing all 3 of his Park Avenue matches inside a week when understudy to Bob Mason. He was released and re-joined Castleford Town that summer before signing for First Division club Sheffield United in April 1913.
He made his Blades debut against Tottenham Hotspur that September, playing in both of the 1914 FA Cup semi final matches against eventual winners Burnley, the first game a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford and the replay at Goodison Park, which Sheffield United narrowly lost 1-0. He went one better a year later winning the FA Cup with The Blades in 1915 in a 3-0 victory over Chelsea in the so called “Khaki Cup Final” at Old Trafford immediately before peacetime football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War, during which he served in the Armed Forces and played in the Scottish League on loan with Hibernian, making 19 appearances for them between April 1918 and January 1919.
He missed only 3 matches for Sheffield United in their first post war campaign of 1919-20 and having toured South Africa with the FA XI in the summer of 1920 he was awarded a single England cap in April 1921, playing against Scotland at Hampden Park in a 3-0 defeat. He played 251 times for Sheffield United over an eleven year period despite the interruption of the War, after which he was a regular between the sticks for The Blades for a further five seasons. In 1924 he re-joined Castleford Town and played for Harrogate in 1926.
In February 1927 he returned to Football League action when he joined Second Division club Oldham Athletic as understudy to Jack Hacking, playing 4 times that month before joining Bolton Wanderers in December the same year as understudy to Dick Pym, for whom he also played just 4 matches in March and early April 1928. In June 1928 he moved to Third Division (South) club Torquay United and missed just 3 matches in 1928-29, making 60 appearances for The Gulls over two seasons before his retirement in 1930.