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D3D4 Carlisle United correspondent Nathan Ridley has put together the top 10 players, as voted for by the fans, ever to put on the famous blue shirt…


site dedicated to all things League One & TwoTimes might be hard at the club currently but some legendary players have graced Brunton Park in a blue shirt over the years.


In no particular order, let’s take a look top 10 of all time.




Chris Balderstone | 388 appearances | 1965- 1975

A professional in both football and cricket, the big man was instrumental in Carlisle’s lone season in Division One (1974/75) in midfield using vision and control to make up for his lack of pace and tenacity. He signed from his hometown club Huddersfield Town for £7,000 and spent a decade at the club. He passed away aged 59 in 2000.


Peter Beardsley | 104 appearances | 1979-1982

Operating very much like a modern day advanced play-maker, he made his professional debut at the club before moving to Vancouver Whitecaps and forging an incredible career. He graced an abundance of clubs such as Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool and most noticeably Newcastle United (where he is also a cult hero) getting his fair share of goals in 755 games. Most notably, he earned 59 England caps in a 10 year period.


Michael Bridges | 60 appearances | 2005 + 2006 + 2008-2009

A trio of stints are the club (two of which were loans) saw the secondary striker rack up 26 goals but was the saviour for Carlisle under numerous bosses. To prize him away from the club, Hull City had to fork out £350,000 to get him. Recently retired, he is still right in the memory of the club and referenced often.


Ivor Broadis | 250 appearances | 1946-1949 + 1955-1959

As an inside forward, the current 95 year-old played the bulk of his career with the blues and scored 84 goals. The most interesting fact about him is that at the end World War 2, he was posted nearby the city and when the club heard how close he was, they offered him a role of player/manager at just 23 years old – making him still the youngest ever player/manager in the EFL. Still residing up north, he is one of longest living legends and is fondly remembered by fans of all ages.


Stan Bowles | 36 appearances | 1971-1972

Described a “maverick” the small amount of games this man played is a testament to how brilliant he was playing down the centre of the pitch going forward. Recently diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s he is still in the hearts of many at the club. Iconically, he would often jog over to the stands and ask for the result of the 3.30 race at Haydock as he was pretty carefree with his wages.


Hughie McIlmoyle | 174 appearances | 1962-1965 + 1967-1970 + 1974-1975 

The prolific striker’s three spells for the club were all prosperous and made him arguably the household name inside Brunton Park. Helping the club out during their top-flight campaign, his quality truly shone in the late 1960s but was an instant hit with the club when he made his initial debut before going on to score four hat-tricks for the club. The flying Scotsman is so well recognised by the club he has a towering statue outside the stadium – that majestically stood right on the top of the water during the 2015 floods.


George McVitie | 326 appearances | 1965-1970 + 1976-81

Playing for the club for a decade in total, the hometown boy’s exploits on the right wing meant he is another crucial component in Carlisle’s history. Despite not too many goals to his name, he had the quality to deliver a ball into the box with pace and precision. Another reason he is a club legend is that he laced up his boots up once again last summer at the age of 68 to play in cult hero Tony Hopper’s charity match.


Peter Murphy | 417 appearances | 2001-2013

Now beginning his managerial days at Annan Athletic in Scotland, the not so towering centre-back was a mainstay for the club for over a decade. Granted a testimonial when it all came to an end, the turn out showed how much the club had embraced the Irishman and he still holds the record for most games for the club as an outfielder. Scoring the winning goal in the 2005 Conference Play-Off final at the then named Britannia Stadium and scoring the only goal in the 2011 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley, his status at the club knows no bounds – especially due to the fact he suffered tragic death of his girlfriend in 2008 in a car collision.


Bobby Parker | unknown appearances | 1974-1984

Still living in Carlisle, the versatile defender/midfielder was integral to the team for a number of years. Integral to the Division One side when he first arrived at the club after being touted as the new Bobby Moore as a youngster by captaining England at youth level, he was a central stalwart for a decade. Not the biggest fan of football anymore, the Cumbrian fan base are well and truly fans of him.


Kieran Westwood | 131 appearances | 2004-2008

Now aiming to return to the Premier League on a personal level with Sheffield Wednesday and regain his Republic of Ireland starting place, he was injured for both ties in this year’s FA Cup but was well on Carlisle minds. In the stint he had with the club his quality was unrivalled an thus when he picked up by Coventry, an undisclosed fee was paid to snap him up following four impressive years. Aiming far higher than the club are at the moment, Westwood will always be considered a level above the where the team were at the time.


Honourable mentions: Tom Cowan, John Gorman, Kevin Gray, Bill Green, Matt Jansen, Chris Lumsdon, David Reeves, Alan Ross, Nigel Saddington, Dean Walling


Who else deserves a mention? Let us know.


3 responses to “Carlisle United Top 10 Players of All Time”

  1. Michael says:

    You cannot leave Allan Ross out of any top ten Carlisle players, just look at his record at Brunton Park. Keiron was magic but Allan was better.

    Maybe, Stan’s 30 plus games shouldn’t be enough – although he was without doubt a true footballing star – then you have the space for Carlisle’s finest gloveman.

  2. chris glegg says:

    Cant believe Willie Carlin didnt get a mention.

  3. chris glegg says:

    Having family in Carlisle and living near Burnley, I would always travel upto Brunton Park to watch Burnley play. On this occasion I saw ex Burnley player David Reeves destroy Burnley, I think he got a hat trick and Carlisle beat Burnley 5-1. REEVES was brilliant and highly rated in my opinion.

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