Brechin, Angus born right back Harry Ross played junior football for Lochee Harp in 1897 and Brechin Harp in 1898 before joining First Division club Burnley in February 1899, making his Football League debut against Newcastle United in November 1899, his only appearance of the season as Burnley were relegated in May 1900. He remained a fringe player in 1900-01 before breaking into the first team from the start of the 1901-02 season, and he enjoyed three seasons as Burnley’s principal right back, scoring twice in 111 appearances for The Clarets before leaving Turf Moor to join Southern League club Fulham in May 1904.
He played ninety eight games, mainly at right back, for Fulham between 1904 and 1909 and scored a total of nine goals. Fulham had appointed Harry Bradshaw as manager in 1904 and “Bradshaw’s teams were built around a wonderful defence in which the consistent and highly regarded Fryer was supported by two Harrys at full back, Ross and Thorpe.” He was described in 1905 as “one of those players who can play equally well at right or left back. Physically he is the man for the place. Twenty four years of age, he weighs over thirteen stone and stands a trifle more than five feet ten. He is a vigorous tackler and a powerful kick, and possesses all the attributes of mind and temper that go to make a first class player.”.
With Ross in the side, Fulham won The Southern League Championship in 1905-06 and 1906-07. Ross had also played for the Anglo-Scots in an international trial in 1905-06. Fulham then entered the Football League in 1907, and Ross, by then club captain, played in their inaugural League fixture against Hull City at Craven Cottage that September. The same season it was said he “has the reputation of being one of the best backs in the South, and is equally skilful with both feet and head”. In March 1908 he had been carried shoulder high from the field, the hero of the hour, after Fulham defeated Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup quarter final, although they went on to lose the semi-final heavily to Newcastle United at Anfield.
Of his total of Fulham goals and appearances, 5 goals in 35 matches came after Fulham joined the Football League. He found himself sidelined in 1908, and later that year he moved to St Mirren in October 1908, making 12 appearances for The Buddies before returning to English football in May 1909, playing for both Southport Central and Darwen. He then signed for his hometown (now Scottish League) club Brechin City in 1910, playing his first match on 29th October 1910 against Aberdeen A. Ross played seven games for Brechin in season 1910-11 before retiring.
NB in the photograph taken at the FA Cup semi final at Anfield on 28th March 1908, Fulham goalkeeper Leslie Skene concedes one of two Jimmy Howie (not in photograph) strikes for Newcastle United, who won the match 6-0. The other players in shot are (l-r) Fulham full backs Harry Ross and Archie Lindsay, and Newcastle United outside left George Wilson.