Born and raised in Warrnambool, he started his playing career with Victoria Ward in the Warrnambool Junior FA in 1927. His father had told him he would get a shilling for every goal he kicked. His first game he kicked seven goals. In 1931 he joined the main town side Warrnambool in the Western District Football League. He kicked 96 goals in his first season and was the league's leading goalkicker. In 1933 Warrnambool moved to the Hampden Football League and Harris was again the league's leading goalkicker with 85 goals.
At the end of 1933 Richmond recruited him and he made his debut for them in 1934. Harris played mainly as a rover and was highly successful in front of goals, kicking 51 goals in his debut season. He topped Richmond's goalkicking on three occasions and his career best 64 goals in the 1937 home and away season was the most in the VFL that year. A premiership player in 1934, Harris was a member of another Richmond premiership team in 1943 when he kicked seven goals in their five point Grand Final win against Essendon Football Club.