Two former Workington managers, both with strong Newcastle United connections, experienced contrasting fortunes on the 8th December in years gone by……….
John McNamee and Tommy Cassidy enjoyed successful playing careers in the top flight of English football and both subsequently managed Workington.
Whilst John would suffer the embarrassment of being sacked on this day in 1975, Tommy will remember the corresponding day in 2001for different reasons. At the fifth attempt, TC saw his new team win for the first time under his tenure.
John had played for Celtic, Hibernian, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers before being appointed Reds manager in June, 1975.
His career at St. James’ Park overlapped Tommy’s, John was coming to the end of his time in the United defence just as Cassidy was establishing himself in midfield after being signed by another former Workington manager, Joe Harvey.
John inherited a poor team at Borough Park (Reds had finished 23rd in the previous two seasons) and was on a hiding to nothing. With just one win in his first twelve games, the writing was on the wall.
The amiable Scot lasted just twenty three games in the Borough Park hot seat before losing his job following a home defeat by Bournemouth. The team had won only three matches in the first half of the ’75-76 season.
Tommy also inherited a team low on confidence but, ultimately, would be given more time in the job than John was afforded.
The former Northern Ireland international took a while to put his stamp on the team but they got that elusive first win on this day in 2001- at Eastwood Town.
Tommy was indebted to Graham Goulding that day as he scored both Reds’ goals in a comfortable 2-0 victory, the second via the penalty spot.