A look through the diaries to see what was happening to Reds on 25 April in years gone by……….
The thought of what might have been happening today will be niggling away with every Workington supporter.
Without being conceited or taking anything granted, today might just have been the day to celebrate promotion.
But that opportunity was taken away from us a few weeks ago and the scale of our disappointment is gradually improving with time.
There was a different atmosphere in and around west Cumbria, Cumberland as it was then of course, fifty six years ago when Reds were afforded one big promotion party as Ken Furphy’s side (pictured with chairman E D Smith) made the leap from the Fourth Division to the Third.
Although we actually clinched promotion a few days earlier thanks to our win at Bradford City, the home game against Exeter City still had a bit riding on it. The Devon side needed at least a draw to secure their own promotion whilst a Reds’ win would have given us a slight chance of landing the Fourth Division title.
And for those reasons, the game was rather tense and a mediocre, goalless draw the outcome which delighted the Exeter City contingent – they too had been promoted.
Quite a special day for both clubs to end their respective season in glory with 8,573 spectators able to say I was there.
Gillingham and Carlisle United won their final day matches to finish champions and runners-up respectively whilst Reds took third position, one point ahead of Exeter City.
Many older supporters who had the good fortune of being there would, I’m sure, have been able to name the Workington XI that won promotion but there had been a significant team change in the final week.
Alan Johnston had played all season in the right full-back role only to miss the final two matches through injury. That presented John Chapman with the chance to deputise and he actually made his home debut in the Exeter game.
The Reds team was: Ian Ower, John Chapman, John Lumsden, Ken Furphy, Bobby Brown, Keith Burkinshaw, Barry Lowes, Dave Carr, Bill Hopper, Jimmy Moran and Geoff Martin
We also came very close to landing the Evo-Stik Premier Division title in 2015 but just could not catch FC United of Manchester, who clinched the championship a few days before they came to Borough Park in 2015.
We did beat them on the day thanks to a first half Matty Tymon (inset) goal but our record tally of 90 points (which would have been more than enough to lift the title in many other seasons) was two short of FC United’s tally.
A record non-league attendance at Borough Park of 2,603, including nearly a thousand supporting the visitors, produced match day receipts of almost £25,000!
From the joys of finishing in the top three to the despair of a bottom two berth, and relegation in 1998. We lost at home to Droylsden on this day and were on our way to North West Counties football.
And, like in 1964, there was a touch of Cumbrian symmetry because Carlisle United’s home defeat by York City meant that they too faced the drop. In their case it was demotion from the Second to the Third Division.
Reds only Football League win on this day was back in 1959 with the highlight of a 3-0 victory at Gateshead our ABC of scorers – George Aitken, Bobby Brown and Jim Currie – who all scored their first goal of the campaign on the final day of the ’58-59 season.
And twenty years ago, there were happenings on and off the pitch.
After growing unrest on the terraces, chairman Bill Wilson resigned after a home game versus Netherfield ending an eventful two year association with the club. And there was some cheer on the pitch with Reds winning for the first time in twelve outings.
Brian Dawson (inset) opened the scoring against his former club, with Wayne Johnson heading home the second against a Kendal team which included ex. Workington players Lee Copeland, Brian Curwen and Lee O’Keefe in their line-up.