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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Tributes paid to Cumbrian football hero

Tributes have been paid to a promotion-winning Cumbrian footballer hailed as an “unsung hero” who has died.

John Lumsden photo
John Lumsden, with Reds in August 1964

Full-back John Lumsden, aged 71, was one of the members of the Workington Reds’ ‘golden era’ that clinched promotion to the old Third Division, now League One.

Lumsden started his career with Aston Villa without making a breakthrough and joined Reds in 1962 as a 19-year-old centre-half.

However, the vast majority of his 290 league and cup appearances for the Reds were at full-back, including the 1963-64 promotion season when he was an ever-present. He also did not miss a game the following season and in total made 144 consecutive appearances before missing out through injury.

He was only a rare goal-scorer – just seven in his seven seasons with the club – but he did hold the distinction of being one of the first Workington players to score from the bench after changes to the game’s rules. He came on as a substitute in January 1968 at home to Crewe and went down in history book.

In an emergency he once played centre-forward, netting in a 1-1 draw at Reading. After a distinguished career with Reds, Lumsden moved to Chesterfield in March 1968 and in the 1969/70 season was in the side which won the Fourth Division championship – the second time he had won promotion to the old Third Division.

When his career ended he joined the police but always had permanent reminders of his time in Workington as all three of his children were there.

A club spokesman said the former player would be remembered fondly.

He said: “John was an unsung hero of the successful Workington team of the mid-sixties. He was solid, dependable, comfortable with all defensive positions and probably one of the first names on the team sheet every week. Our condolences go to John’s family.”

Lumsden is the third member of the team which won promotion 50 years ago to have died. His death follows those of inside-forward Dave Carr in November last year and Barry Lowes, a winger, in May 2012.

The spokesman added: “It is sad, that as we mark the 50th anniversary of Workington’s golden era, we have lost another hero following the passing, not too long ago, of Barry Lowes and Dave Carr.”

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