Tag: Carlisle United

Match Of The Past: Carlisle United

It was not much longer ago than forty years that what we now know as the county of Cumbria (which, in the interests of historical exactitude, we should point out didn’t come into existence until 1974) had three Football League clubs. Barrow, however, lost their place in 1972 and Workington followed them five years later, leaving Carlisle United as the sole Football League club for England’s most northerly country – and even they lost their place for a season after relegation in 2004. Our six videos today are from the years between 1974 and 2005, kicking off with a report from from local broadcaster Border Television about the club’s promotion to the First Division of the Football League in 1974, and this is followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea at the start of the following season, a match which was covered by the Match Of The Day cameras and saw Carlisle top the First Division, albeit briefly. That season ended in relegation, but we have a further four videos for you, including a trip to Fulham from the 1982/83 season, a home match against Burnley from 1992, goalkeeper Jimmy Glass’s goal which kept the club in the Football League in 1999 and the second leg of the Football Conference play-off semi-final against Aldershot Town from 2005. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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100 Owners: Number 91 – Michael Knighton (Carlisle United)

At opposite ends of the Football League, he was involved in events which bookended the 1990s, and his failure to take control of one of the biggest football clubs in the world remains one of the great “what if” questions of that last couple of years before the introduction of the Premier League. Michael Knighton, however, was much more than just a cartoon character. His actions led to a near-death experience for the only Football League club in Cumbria, and his departure from the game in 2002 was related to business dealings that earned him a disqualification from acting as the director of any company. Michael Knighton was brought up in Derbyshire. He was a reasonably talented footballer, good enough to get a trial at Everton – where he didn’t make the grade – and Coventry City, before a serious leg injury ruined any chances that he might have had of become a player. He studied at Durham University and became a teacher before moving into the property market, but the desire to get involved in football was, apparently, a flame that couldn’t be extinguished and 1989 a once in a lifetime opportunity came his way, an opportunity to buy into a football club that was a global institution that had fallen upon¬†tough times. And Knighton nearly pulled it off. By 1989, it was more than twenty years since...

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Bordering On The Ridiculous

In the olden days, managers either resigned, or they were sacked. There was something noble about the resignation of a football manager. The admission that they weren’t quite up to the job. The falling on the sword in order to spare the greater dignity of The Club. The flipside to this was the sacking which, in all honesty, was just as dignified. The manager, a beaten man, would be forced out of The Club, a broken man, with a hangdog expression replacing the alternate faces of despair and ecstasy that had characterised their time in charge. Even in the cases of managers that were despised, there was an element of almost endearing pathos about their final trudge from the board room, boots slug despondently over their shoulders, the stale aroma of shattered dreams still lingering in the air. In recent years, however, the lines have become more and more blurred. Managers don’t seem to get sacked these days, and neither do they resign. The mots du jour are “mutual consent”, as if every manager’s tenure ends with all parties sitting around a table, nodding their heads sagely and deciding that, you know, perhaps this just isn’t working out after all. It’s the sporting equivalent of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s divorce. As more and more of these departures have been announced, we have started to wonder why this very...

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Border City Blue

The 8th of May 1999 was a big day for Carlisle United Football Club. Members of the Football League for just over seventy years, they were the only surviving club of the three Cumbrian clubs that had once been members of the Football League (Workington and Barrow having lost their places in the 1970s), but now their place in the League was on the line and they had to beat Plymouth Argyle at Brunton Park on the last day of the season to stay up. Into injury time, they won a corner and threw everybody, including on loan goalkeeper Jimmy Glass, forward. The corner fell to Glass who, from six yards out, slammed the ball into the bottom corner of the net and sent Scarborough down instead. It was in some respects the ultimate football fairytale, but the truth was somewhat more complex than that. For one thing, Carlisle had been run into the ground by the maladministration of Michael Knighton over a period of the previous three or four years or so. Knighton had famously attempted to wrest control of Manchester United for ¬£20m in 1989 to the extent of running onto the pitch at Old Trafford in a full United kit to demonstrate his “skills”. The deal fell through (and just think how different modern football might have been had it not done so), and Knighton’s spell...

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