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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Workington Town's 60th anniversary celebration

Bev Risman, son of rugby league legend Gus, recalled his memories of Workington Town’s most glorious day at a charity night organised by Allerdale mayor Joe Holliday.


Mr Risman, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours, marked the 60th anniversary since Town famously beat Featherstone 18-10 at Wembley to lift the Challenge Cup.

Mr Risman, a former Cockermouth Grammar School boy and dual code rugby international himself, was special guest of lifelong Workington Town fan Coun Holliday.

He paid tribute to his popular father Gus, who managed Town to the most famous win in the club’s history in front of 72,000 fans.

He said: “My dad’s name is synonymous with Workington, and that is something I am proud of.

“The Challenge Cup win was a wonderful occasion, and for Town to win was incredible.

“To see 20,000 fans screaming for Workington was amazing.

“I was there and remember every minute.

“I also spent days at Borough Park at the Derwent End, catching balls before they went in the river.”

Coun Holliday raised £500 for charity and hosted the perfect night of entertainment at Workington’s Washington Central Hotel.

A 15-minute highlight reel of match action was shown to the 80-strong audience and Coun Holliday spoke of his experiences of following Town.

Mr Risman, who went on to forge a highly successful career, winning trophies in both league and union, also spoke fondly about the efforts of current Town coaches Gary Charlton and Martin Oglanby, who have guided Workington to the top of Championship One this term.

He said: “It is fantastic that Workington are top of Championship One. It’s great seeing Town being the premier team in Cumbria.

“There’s a great tradition of rugby league in West Cumbria and it’s great we have all three clubs aiming for promotion.”

Coun Holliday, who was raising money for Multiple Sclerosis Society, Meningitis Trust, Stroke Association, Anaphylaxis Research and Youth Rugby League in Allerdale, was delighted with the night at Workington’s Washington Central Hotel.

He said: “To have a man whose life has been as colourful as Bev’s speak about the most glorious day in Workington’s fantastic history was a huge honour.

“The whole night has been an incredible success. We have had a great time, heard some fantastic stories, and raised money for some great causes.”

l Were you part of Town’s famous Wembley triumph? Share your memories of that historic day. Write to John Fuller, Times & Star, 21-23 Oxford Street, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 2AL or email sport.ts@cnmedia.co.uk.

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