Kimblesworth, County Durham born inside forward Cecil Hardy began his football career with Blackhall Colliery Welfare in 1920 and joined Third Division (North) Hartlepools United in 1921, making his Football League debut against Southport that September. He scored ten goals in 22 games in his debut season and went one better in 1922-23, scoring eleven goals in 24 matches. His best season was 1925-26 as he scored 15 goals in the campaign as The Monkey Hangers finished 6th in the division, Hardy scoring a hat-trick in a 9-3 win over Walsall in January 1926 and finishing as the club’s second top goalscorer to Harry Wensley.
However he was injured in April and from the next season he found it difficult to get into the first team, leaving Victoria Park in 1928 to re-join Blackhall Colliery Welfare after 47 goals in 133 appearances for Hartlepools. He spent a season at Horden Colliery Welfare from 1929 before returning to Blackhall Colliery Welfare for a third time in 1930 before his eventual retirement from the game.