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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Blues and Reds stars to re-live old rivalries

Workington Reds and Carlisle United are set to revive memories of their famously fierce derby clashes – through the stars of yesteryear.

Derek Walsh photo
Derek Walsh

A special fundraising football match has been organised for Sunday May 13 at Borough Park at 1pm.

Former Reds players Gary Messenger and Billy Gilmour are putting together the Workington team, while ex-United midfielder Derek Walsh is recruiting the Carlisle squad.

Gary said: “It was Walshie’s idea because he has a pal who is a member of the Maryport Inshore Rescue team. They need extra funding so he had the idea of reviving the Reds v Blues derby matches.”

Workington and Carlisle met 26 times as Football League rivals before the Reds were voted out in 1977. Of those, the west Cumbrians actually won half while another six were drawn, so they had far and away the better of the games.

“That was a very good record we would like to maintain, although I know that Walshie is putting together a very competitive squad,” said Gary.

Several players, over the years, have played for both clubs including current Reds boss Darren Edmondson and Carlisle goalkeeping coach Tony Caig. Both of them will turn-out a half for each side in the clash.

They will be joined by former Carlisle United stars from throughout the years, including Alan Smart, Tony Hopper, Dean Walling, Wes Saunders, Paul Proudlock and Andy Watson.

“It’ll be a fantastic match for a great cause,” said Derek. “Everyone I’ve rung has been brilliant in supporting the match and we’d like to encourage as many people as possible to come along and cheer us on.

“We might not be quite as fit as we were in our playing days but judging by the enthusiasm that’s been shown by all those who’re playing it’ll be a good competitive match that’ll hopefully raise as much money as possible for the lifeboat.

“What we’re doing is kicking a ball about for fun. The lifeboat crews are fantastic and do something most people wouldn’t dream of doing. They deserve our respect and our support.”

The Reds will be looking to build their team around the locally-based players who turned-out for recent matches against Liverpool and Manchester United, but will be hoping to bring the club’s non-league legend Martin Henderson over from the north east.

All the £5 entry fees for the game will go to the Maryport Inshore Rescue funds while there will be a raffle and an auction of some football memorabilia.

“It has all the ingredients for being a very good day and if we can raise a fair bit of money for the cause everyone will have done their bit,” added Gary.

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