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Carlisle United

Carlisle United

Nickname The Cumbrians
Web Site
Stadium Brunton Park

Carlisle United Football Club was formed in 1903 when Shaddongate United and Carlisle Red Rose merged. In 1904 they settled on the name of Carlisle United as it was felt that that the town needed a representative team of the same name. Most of the early home games were played at Milhome Bank but finding a playable surface was often difficult in bad weather. In the 1903/4 season the team had been in dispute for having too many postponed matches and had the Cumberland Senior League title taken away from them. The team also played games at Devonshire Park before finally settling at Brunton Park which is still home today.

In 1905 Carlisle joined the Lancashire Combination League as the competition was of a higher standard. As Carlisle is a little isolated the club agreed to pay all the visiting teams traveling expenses for the first two seasons. A few years later the club was forced to end membership of the Lancashire Combination League and began playing in the North Eastern League. This led to reduced interest from the supporters and a drop in spectators almost forced them to extinction. The players nobly agreed to play for nothing which saved the club from financial ruin and the crowds began to reappear after the First World War.

In 1928 Carlisle United joined the Football League and have only spent one season in the top flight. They were promoted at the end of the 1973/4 season but finished bottom the following season. By 1987 they were back in the basement league and have spent most of their time there since.

In 1992 Carlisle finished bottom of the Fourth Division and would normally have been relegated to the Conference. In the same season Aldershot had been declared bankrupt so no relegation took place that year. Three years later they won the league and were promoted to the third tier. Millionaire Michael Knighton successfully took over the club in the same year which gave the club optimism for the future. The club yo-yoed between the bottom two divisions and Knighton failed to financially support his managers. In a bizarre twist, the eccentric Chairman claimed to see aliens outside Brunton Park and installed himself as Manager. Under his management, the Club were relegated back to the basement league.

Carlisle went into the last match of the 1998/9 season needing a win against Plymouth to secure their league status. With ten seconds remaining the score was 1-1 and relegation was looking probable. Carlisle had a corner and on-loan goalkeeper Jimmy Glass went forward for the last chance of the game. Amazingly, the Plymouth goalkeeper parried the ball and Glass was on hand to net the loose ball and guarantee league football the following season.

In 2004 they finally lost league status but then gained promotion on two successive seasons to join Division one.

Carlisle United Memorabilia
Carlisle United Books

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