ON THIS DAY: 16 January – Shanks’ first win and treble over the Bluebirds

Shanks’ first win as Reds’ boss, Cobblers given the boot, a spot of bother for Barrow, away wins in Lincolnshire and more Trophy joy – just some of the bullet points from the 16th January in Workington’s past…….

All managers like to register that first win at a new club as soon as possible and Bill Shankly was no exception.


He guided Reds to that all important first two-pointer on this day in 1954, a 2-0 home win over Chester in a Third Division (North) fixture, and a decent 7,000 plus crowd saw them do it.

The programme gave the great man a less than spectacular welcome, even spelling his name wrong!

“Mr Bill Shankley has taken over the manager’s post this week.  We are glad to welcome him back again to Cumberland football where he is held in high esteem for his football knowledge and ability,” read the underwhelming introduction.

Thankfully the performance on the pitch was more upbeat and goals from Chris Simmonds and Norman Mitchell clinched the victory.

There was an even better win six years later in 1960 with the Borough Park faithful treated to a 5-1 romp against Northampton Town – our most emphatic win against the Cobblers.

Peter Harburn

Peter Harburn netted twice that day with Frank Kirkup, Bob Morrison and Ken Booth joining him on the score sheet.      

We needed two penalties to overcome Barrow in the 1971 derby at Borough Park and, unusually, two different players converted from the spot in a hard fought victory.

Tommy Spratt

Tony Geidmintis and Tommy Spratt scored from twelve yards and the win completed a treble over the Bluebirds with Reds previously victorious at Holker Street after also knocking them out of the League Cup!

Our only drawn game on this day was the Northern Premier League clash versus South Liverpool back in 1982.  We were 2-0 down in the home match but fought back to salvage a point as it finished 2-2.

Ian Innes

John Smith had reduced the arrears before Ian Innes headed home a late equaliser.

The 1987-88 campaign was one of the most difficult seasons ever so a surprise 2-1 win at Gainsborough Trinity on this day in 1988 provided some welcome respite.

We were a goal down at Northolme but a cracking leveller from Mark Walsh and Dennis Finn’s late winner secured our first away points of a traumatic season.

There was another pleasing away win in Lincolnshire more recently with Reds finishing 1-0 to the good at Grantham Town back in 2016.

Our number eleven, Conor Tinnion, scored the winner in the eleventh minute to register a first success at Town’s South Kesteven Sports Stadium.

Billy Gilmour enjoyed this day in 1993 with his two goals, one in each half, helping us get the better of Alfreton Town, 2-1 on home soil – or mud as it was in those days!

Workington’s only defeat was in the FA Trophy at Altrincham in a first round replay in 1978.  After a goalless first half we were still in contention but the floodgates opened after conceding the first goal and we eventually lost 4-0.

Josh Calvert

But, three years ago, we did experience replay joy in the Trophy, inflicting a 2-1 defeat upon Weston-super-Mare who, to their great credit, travelled to Workington and back on the day.

Josh Calvert opened the scoring with a neat shot on the turn but the National League South outfit equalised against the run of play. Phil McLuckie headed home the winner to send Reds into the last sixteen of the competition.

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