A MEMBER of Workington Town’s last Wembley team from 1958 has died at the age of 90.

Bert Eden was hooker when Town went down against Wigan 13-9 in front of 66,109.

Ike Southward scored all of Town’s points with a try and three goals.

That season, 1958/59, was Bert’s best in a ten-year spell with the club. He was first-choice, playing in 36 games and scored three tries – capped by an appearance at Wembley.

It was actually a fairytale return for Bert who had announced his retirement at the end of the previous season because of persistent shoulder injury issues.

Indeed he had spent more time in the treatment room than he had on the field for three successive seasons.

The Eden shoulder was featured as much in the local press as Denis Compton’s knee problems appeared nationally!

But at the start of the 1957/58 season Town A team were short of a hooker and Bert came out of retirement to help out – and he stayed.

It was a remarkable renaissance, topped by the Wembley appearance and a trip to Odsal for the Championship final with Hull.

Town had finished third in the table and beat runners-up St Helens 14-13 in the semi-final.

Fourth-placed Hull beat champions Oldham 20-8 and in the final the Humbersiders beat Town 20-3.

Bert finally retired after the 1961/62 season when more shoulder injuries surfaced. He would have played many more than the 119 games he started for Town with better luck on injuries.

Although a Welshman, born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Bert moved with his parents to Cumberland at a young age, living in Seaton and attending Workington Grammar School.

At school he represented Cumberland at rugby union but quickly joined Seaton ARL when he left the Grammar School.

He represented the county and also England in an amateur international.

It wasn’t long before the professional clubs started taking an interest and he had already received an offer from Oldham when Town moved in and signed him.

He had always wanted to play for Town and after several games in the A team on amateur forms he turned professional.

Bert actually made his debut in the 1952/53 season, playing just the one game at prop.

His preferred position was hooker, however, and he got his chance the following season playing in the first 13 games.

That’s when his bad luck with injuries started and over the next three seasons managed only 15 appearances.

After his retirement Bert built a fine reputation as mine host of the Star public house at Branthwaite. He ran a popular café in Workington Bus Station and then had the Cumbria Ballroom, for a long time the most popular dinner/dance venue in the town.

Bert’s wife Doreen died last year and he leaves a son, two daughters, five grand-children and two great grand-children.

The funeral service is on Monday at Isel Church (11am).