Netting 25 goals (in 33 games) for the Grecians in 1926/27, and later scoring for Bolton Wanderers in the 1929 FA Cup final, Silverton-born Harold Blackmore was a major figure for Exeter City in the mid-1920s. Also playing for Middlesbrough, Bradford City and Bury he returned to Devon to become a butcher.
After playing local football for Silverton United, Harold joined Exeter City in the summer of 1924 after appearing twice for the reserves as an amateur. On signing it was reported that ‘‘with the right training it is thought he could develop into a very good player. Among his attributes, he is a possessor of a cracking left foot shot.’
Making his debut against Swindon Town on 25 October 1924, and scoring his first goal the following week at Aberdare, he scored six times in 11 appearances in 1924/25. Then, after notching 14 goals from 27 starts during the following campaign, he scored 25 times in 1926/27 from 33 appearances as City did no better than finish in mid-table.
Attracting the attention of bigger clubs and having recently impressed against the Burnden Park club in a benefit match, Harold transferred to Bolton Wanderers in April 1927 for a fee of £2,150 where he played in the same team as ex-Grecian goalkeeper Dick Pym from further down the Exe at Topsham. Scoring eight times from a dozen starts in his first season, Harold hit 37 goals in 43 league and cup outings in 1928/29 and scored one of the goals in Bolton’s 2-0 FA Cup final win over Portsmouth. Finally totalling 111 goals in 153 games for the Lancashire club he moved on to Middlesbrough in 1932 ahead of a successful stay at Bradford Park Avenue where he hit 32 goals in 60 league appearances.
Finishing his professional career with the briefest of flurries at Bury he moved back to Devon and, after contemplating taking on a pub, opened a butcher’s shop in South Street in Exeter city centre with his wife Doris. With the shop being bombed in the Second World War, the Blackmores later traded on West Street and May Street.
Harold Blackmore died in Exeter in December 1989 after a long illness.