Workington Reds – pride of west Cumbria

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

A first visit to Workington reminded me that this small unfashionable place had somehow managed to sustain, against all the odds, a Football League club for twenty-six years.

In the monthly football magazine When Saturday Comes, the Sports Journalist Harry Pearson writes fondly and wittily about his native North East (of England) under the title, The Far Corner. Had he been born nearer to Penrith than Scotch Corner his entertaining articles might have referred to Cumbria as The Forgotten County.

The thirty-two mile road westward from Carlisle to Workington takes visitors through inland Wigton and Aspatria before the south side of the Solway comes into view at Maryport and the subsequent coastal route leads to Workington. The West Cumbrian towns may only be a few miles north of the bustling Lake District but they might as well be on another planet. Easily missed, and far too readily dismissed, I love each of them and their kindly, easy going residents.

In the early 1990s, Cumbria became part of my patch as BT’s Education Liaison Manager and a first visit to Workington reminded me that this small unfashionable place had somehow managed to sustain, against all the odds, a Football League club for twenty-six years. My initial stay in the town included a non-matchday tour of Borough Park; I was hooked!

I have since made three visits from Glasgow to watch the Reds, the last time being the final match of the 1998–99 season, as they clinched the North West Counties League’s First Division Championship. It’s still the club’s only League title.

Moving back to Dundee, and of course further away from West Cumbria, I concluded I would never make a fourth visit to Workington’s stadium but the imminent demolition of the grand old ground has forced me to reconsider – and successfully negotiate an awayday. So on Monday 22 April I will be there to witness Borough Park’s last League match. Can’t wait.

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All