Nickname: The Blues, The Cumbrians, The Foxes, Blue and White Army
Founded: 17th May 1904
Manager: Chris Beech
Stadium: Brunton Park
Current league position: 12th
Last season’s finish: 18th
Current top scorer: Jon Mellish (13 goals in all competitions)
FFV’s one for the future: Josh Dixon
Only ten miles away from the border lying between Scotland and England, Carlisle United are the last outpost in English football. The team and city have hosted some fine players from both sides of the border, with heroes such as Hughie Mcllmoyle, Peter Beardsley, Alan Ross, Ivor Broadis and recently, cult hero Michael Bridges.
Arguably, the Cumbrians finest moment came in the 1974/75 season when the team reached the lofty heights of the then First Division and were top after three fixtures but sadly finished bottom at the business end of the season. Notably, Carlisle once beat AS Roma in 1972 at the Stadio Olimpico in the doomed Anglo Italian Cup, however many Blues would not say that either of these moments was the clubs most dramatic or best day.
On the final day of the 1998-1999 season in the Third Division Carlisle had to win to avoid oblivion and devotion into Non-League which may have seen the club’s financial state become even more perilous. United found themselves level at 1-1 with Plymouth Argyle needing a win to avoid the drop, David Brightwell had equalised with a quality volley, it was in the dying moments when Jimmy Glass the United loanee keeper struck with a volley from a corner. Moments forever cherished in Cumbrian hearts.
Opinions vary, currently, the Blues are in the lowest division of English football and seem to be underachieving for a catchment area spanning much of the county. A revival in mid-2000 under Paul Simpson who brought the club up from Non-League at the first time of asking and lifted the team to League One.
The success continued under Neil McDonald and were sadly, only 90 minutes from the Championship playoff final until Jonny Howson broke Blues hearts for Leeds. Relegation followed in the coming years, Carlisle has been in League Two since the 2014/15 season. United have flirted with relegation and promotion, nothing has come of it but hopes in the city are that Chris Beech can lead the Blues to success once again.