It’s derby day on Saturday, the original Cumberland derby by the way, with Workington hosting EFL neighbours Carlisle United in pre-season action at Borough Park (3pm).
And it will be a special day for many and, in particular, current Reds boss, Danny Grainger, who will face his former club for the first time since leaving Brunton Park in 2019.
He is just one of many individuals who have served both clubs at various stages of their respective careers but Danny isn’t the only one representing Reds with a Blues background.
Similarly, there are a few in the ‘blue corner’ with a Workington paragraph on their CV.
And, due to some sad news we received earlier this week, Saturday’s game will celebrate another stalwart both clubs are proud to call an ‘old boy’.
Clive Middlemass, a proud Yorkshireman, spent over a decade of his illustrious career in this part of the world – playing for Reds and managing United.
He is held in high esteem in both camps and was always made welcome when returning to either Brunton Park or Borough Park.
Sadly, he passed away at the age of 77 and players, officials and supporters of both clubs will unite just before kick-off and acknowledge a fine servant to both clubs.
Clive signed for Workington in 1963 and would spend seven seasons as a player in the west of the county. In one of his first encounters against United, he had the satisfaction of scoring against them in a reserve team fixture (North Regional League) but an even better moment would be Reds’ League Cup win over the Blues at Brunton Park in 1967.
Twenty one years later, Clive returned to Borough Park as United manager and would over-see two Carlisle pre-season victories out west during his time as the Blues boss. He occupied the Brunton Park hot seat over four seasons and improved a struggling United side – finishing positions of 23rd, 12th and 8th confirming steady progress.
He would go onto serve several other clubs during his career but always spoke highly of his time with both Workington and Carlisle United.
Paul Simpson’s side have enjoyed an avalanche of goals in the past week – putting five past Penrith in their first run-out and then netting nine at Kendal Town in midweek.
The hope is they won’t be as prolific in the third game of their annual mini tour of Cumbria, against a Grainger side still short of several regulars.
Danny will be making decisions in the near future on the trialists that have been with the club and, whether they link up with us on a permanent basis or seek their football elsewhere, we wish them well in the future.
The United game is the last of the pre-season home fixtures with a sequence of away games scheduled before the start of the season proper.
Pre-season summary throughout the non-league era
|1980-81||5-0||Smith (3),Reach, Diamond|
|1982-83||0-3||Mitchell, Bannon, Poskett|
|1983-84||0-5||Dixon, Shoulder (2), Bell,Poskett|
|1985-86||0-4||Haigh, McCartney (pen), Entwistle, Robson|
|1987-88||3-7||George, Woods, Rowntree/Poskett (3), Bishop (2), Cooke, Wright|
|1988-89||1-2||Glover (pen)/Saddington, Marshall|
|2005-06||1-2||Hamilton L/Grand (pen), McClen|
|2006-07||3-1||Arnison (2), Goulding/Earl|
|2007-08||3-1||Hewson, Wright J, Robinson/Bridges (pen)|
|2009-10||1-3||Henney/Gowling, Klukowski (2)|
|2011-12||2-0||Wright J (pen), Tucker|
|2012-13||0-5||Beck, Symington (2), Cadamarteri, Welch|
|2013-14||1-1||Hewson (pen)/Miller (pen)|
|2015-16||0-3||Asamoah, Osei, Kearns|
|2016-17||1-3||Tinnion/Shaun Miller (pen), Penn, McKee|
|2017-18||0-3||Shaun Miller, Andoh, Moore|
|2018-19||1-3||Maguire/Devitt (pen), Yates, Bennett|
|2021-22||0-3||Clough, Mampala, Charters|