On this day – 1 April

A look through the record books to see what was happening to Reds on the 1st April in years gone by…………………

There was an attractive league fixture for Workington supporters to look forward to back in 1967 with Third Division high-fliers, Queens Park Rangers, in town for this bottom versus top encounter.

Rangers were good ‘box-office’, thanks to the timing of the fixture, with the Loftus Road club having played at Wembley just three weeks earlier in the League Cup Final.

And, after trailing by two goals at Wembley, Rangers stormed back to win 3-2 against West Bromwich Albion in front of a 98,000 crowd becoming the first Third Division winners in the first final to be staged at the national stadium.

Making just one change to their Wembley line-up, Rangers included the likes of Peter Springett, Rodney Marsh, Jim Langley, Les Allen and the Morgan twins while Reds fielded the following: Rogan, Ogilvie, Lumsden, Hale, Kirkman, Middlemass, Foley, Geidmintis, Brayton, Spratt and a number eleven called Tinnion (Brian).   

Fullback, Ogilvie, was making his 100th League appearance for Reds.

Reds were the Londoners equals for an hour and gave a good account of themselves, but Rangers then took the lead through Ian Morgan who converted a cross from his brother, Roger.  And they made sure of the points when Jim Langley converted a penalty.

A few hundred Rangers fans (including the first drum I ever saw at a football match) made the trip north, boosting the gate to over 4,000.

Across the road, Workington Town announced their lowest gate (1,200) for the visit of Barrow on the same day with the local paper suggesting many rugby league fans had gone to watch the Reds v. Rangers clash instead.

Reds have made three trips to Wales on this day but failed to win any.  They drew their 1963 Third Division clash at Newport County where Dave Carr and Mike Commons shared our goals.  Then, in 1989 and on Northern Premier League duty, we lost 3-1 at Newtown and, six years ago in Conference North, we went down 3-2 at Colwyn Bay.

The trip to Newtown saw Graham Emerson score his first ever goal for Reds whilst brothers Ian and Alan Woan were on target for the Mid-Wales side.

Ian Woan is still very much involved in football and is the current assistant manager to Sean Dyche at Burnley.

Our only NPL victory on this day was back in 2006 when a Craig Johnston penalty and a Mathew Henney goal earned a narrow 2-1 success against Droylsden and that was after Graham Goulding (and the visiting ‘keeper) had been sent off.

On the same day at Hampden Park, three players with strong Reds connections – Gavin Skelton, Derek Townsley and Matthew Berkeley – were helping Gretna reach the Scottish Cup Final after a resounding 3-0 win over Dundee!  

Reds’ most emphatic win on April Fool’s Day was in 1979 when Walter Gillott (pictured) scored four goals v. Keswick in a Cumberland Cup quarter final tie played on a Sunday at Borough Park.  Keith Armstrong netted our other goal that day.

And how about this for an unusual fixture, played eighty-five years ago?  Alloa became the first Scottish side to play at Borough Park when they travelled to Cumberland for a friendly in 1939.  Thirties Reds won 2-1 with Billy Boyd scoring both our goals.      

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