Scarborough born left back Harry Ness began his football career with Sheffield in 1905, and played for Rawmarsh Albion in 1906 and Parkgate in 1907 before joining Second Division Barnsley, making his Football League debut at Burnley in December 1908. Initially a fringe player, making only 3 appearances in his debut season, he was a regular in the Barnsley team the following season and played 9 cup ties in their FA Cup run that ended with Barnsley playing in the Final with mighty Newcastle United. Although they drew the first match 1-1 at The Crystal Palace, they lost the replay 2-0 at Goodison Park.
Barnsley would go one better two years later but by then Ness had joined First Division Sunderland in the 1911 close season after 79 appearances for The Tykes. During his first two seasons he was not a regular in the Sunderland first eleven, however he came into the team towards the end of March 1913 in place of Albert Milton and played in both the FA Cup semi final victory over Burnley and their FA Cup Final 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa at The Crystal Palace, which denied Sunderland the League Championship and FA Cup Double, as Sunderland finished League Champions. Ness played 13 League matches during the campaign and earned a Champions medal despite his two Cup defeats.
He was a far more regular performer during the final two seasons before peacetime football was suspended due to the advent of the First World War, by when he had made 101 appearances for The Wearsiders. During the War Ness enlisted with 42nd Battalion of the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch).
In May 1920, he was transferred to Aberdeen. He suffered an injury in a pre-season match but was reported to have made a complete recovery by October 1920, and played for their reserve team. Some incident occurred, as in May 1921, he filed a claim against Aberdeen with the SFA for £132 (equivalent to £5,000 in 2015). The next month, it was reported that Aberdeen came to a settlement with Ness. In August of that year, it was reported that Aberdeen would transfer Ness. He never made a first team appearance at Pittodrie and ended his senior football career thereafter.