ON THIS DAY: 17 January – Ken Furphy passed away

Not too much action for Reds on the 17th January in the past but there has been a mixture of odd goal defeats, an emphatic victory, a few goals from Mr Wright and some sad news…….

Ken Furphy is regarded by many Workington supporters as the club’s greatest ever manager after guiding Reds to their only Football League promotion in 1964.

Sadly, though, Ken died on this day in 2015 and, such was the impact of his two and half years at Borough Park, it felt like a close family member had passed away.  He was 83.

After starting his career with Everton, Ken made his Football League debut with Darlington, where he made over three hundred appearances, arrived at Workington in 1962 where he served Reds as player/manager for another hundred, plus, games before representing Watford in a similar capacity – again making a further century of appearances.

After managing Workington and Watford, he then enjoyed successful stints in charge of Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United before spending several years in USA at New York (Cosmos), Miami, Detroit and Washington.


Workington were held to a 1-1 draw here in 1970 when Chesterfield came to town on Fourth Division business.  We were well pleased with a point against one of the promotion favourites, made possible by a Les Massie goal.

Both teams were celebrating at the end of the season, Reds for climbing out of the re-election zone and finishing 20th, Chesterfield for becoming Fourth Division champions!

Reading (Elm Park)

We were also up against another promotion contender in 1976 when we made our last ever appearance at Reading’s old Elm Park ground.

It was a case of losing to a Friday goal on a Saturday as Reading’s top scorer, Robin Friday, scored the decider, completing a league double over Reds in the process.

The Royals finished in third position and achieved promotion, Reds ended up at the foot of the table in 24th spot!

Tony Chilton

A home match against Farsley Celtic in 1998 proved to be the last hurrah for Tony Chilton who lost his job as manager following a 2-1 defeat at Borough Park.

Garry Wright

Garry Wright had opened the scoring for Reds but Celtic responded immediately and two quick goals saw them clinch the points and signal the end for ‘Chilts’ and his assistant, Barrie Stimpson.

Borough Park was certainly our ‘happy place’ in 2009 when we thrashed Gainsborough Trinity 5-0 in a Blue Square North fixture.

Jonny Wright

Jonny Wright started and finished the scoring but then had a last minute penalty saved by Trinity ‘keeper, Adam Sollitt, to prevent him scoring his first hat-trick for the club.

Gareth Arnison, Tony Hopper and Anthony Wright were also amongst the goals that day.

Anthony Wright

On the day we were told of Ken Furphy’s passing in 2015, Reds hosted Rushall Olympic in an Evo-Stik Premier Division encounter and that proved to be the most dramatic of games.

We recovered from a 0-2 deficit to win by the odd goal in five with the winner an 88th penalty from Scott Allison.  Both teams finished with ten men (Matty Tymon and Cameron Belford sent off in separate incidents), both awarded, and scored, a penalty, both had a goal disallowed and both had players booked.

Gareth Arnison and Matty Tymon had scored in the second half to restore parity before Scott netted the last gasp winner.

It was a seventh successive home victory for play-off chasing Reds.

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