Mansfield, Nottinghamshire born inside forward Harry Thompson began his football career with Mansfield Invicta in 1931 and joined Third Division (North) Mansfield Town in June 1932, spending 1932-33 on their books without making their first team. He was signed by First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers in June 1933 and made his Football League debut at Derby County in October 1935 and whilst never assured of a first team place he featured regularly over the next four seasons scoring 17 goals in 73 appearances and helping Wolves to runners up spot in the League Championship in 1937-38.
In December 1938 he was signed by Sunderland and he scored once in 14 appearances for them prior to the Second World War, which significantly interrupted his career. After the War he joined York City in December 1945, playing 4 FA Cup ties for them in the first post war FA Cup, before a move to Northampton Town in November 1946 where he scored 3 goals in 45 appearances before joining non league Headington United in 1949, soon to be re-named Oxford United.
Later in 1949 Thompson became Oxford United’s first professional manager. He managed the club for 9 years, winning the Southern League in 1952-53 and the Southern League Cup twice in 1953 and 1954. They also reached the fourth round of the FA Cup under Thompson, who stayed in the role until 1958.