The 31st December is another date that has disappeared from the football calendar but Reds enjoyed mixed fortunes when they did turn out on New Year’s Eve…….
It is thirty two years since they did play on this day and that game was at Irlam Town in 1988.
Kick-off was at 12 noon, which meant an early start from Borough Park, but at least the players were back in time for their moderate celebrations that night.
And a first half goal from Graeme Nicholson secured a narrow 1-0 win to ensure a good end to the year.
Irlam weren’t well supported and the official gate was listed as 45 including about half a dozen of a Workington persuasion.
Five years earlier, in 1983, we began our NPL President’s Cup campaign with a goalless draw at Chorley in what was a two-legged competition. That match was the start of a successful run in the cup which we eventually won a few months later.
Gerard Fisher (featured) was coming to the end of his 233 game Reds career and the clean sheet he kept at Victory Park was his final one in the green jersey.
Dave Wilson had just taken over as Workington manager, following Gordon Livsey’s move to Hartlepool, but he faced a tough start which included a game at Altrincham. Wilson left himself out of the team and watched from the dug-out as the Robins hammered Reds 5-1.
Walter Gillott had scored a close range goal to give us a half time lead but a Graham Heathcote inspired Alty put us to the sword in the second half. Heathcote bagged a fifteen minute hat-trick to dampen our spirits.
We played Gillingham twice at Borough Park on New Year’s Eve winning a 1960 encounter but suffering defeat six years later in 1966.
Jackie Hinchliffe and Noel Hodgson were the goal scorers in a 2-0 victory sixty years ago with the former netting his first for the club.
The Gills were celebrating in 1966 after the 3-1 score line finished in their favour with Reds’ consolation goal coming via a penalty converted by Ken Oliver.
Other Football League defeats on the last day of the year were suffered at Scunthorpe United (1-3) in 1955 and Brentford (0-1) in 1969.