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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Tributes to Jacky, Carlisle United fan for 85 years

One of Carlisle United’s most devoted fans has died aged 91.

John ‘Jacky’ Notman was taken to see the Blues by his father in 1927 when he was just six - and he’s been a regular fixture ever since.

It was Carlisle’s last year in the North Eastern League before they were elected to the Football League.

Jacky, of Pugin Street, Carlisle, spent almost the whole of his working life with a local book maker. Unfortunately this meant he could only see United play midweek matches until he retired just short of his 70th birthday.

His daughter Linda Whalley, who now lives in High Wycombe, said after that he only missed a match when he was visiting his family at Christmas.

Jacky’s love of Carlisle United has passed on to Linda and her son Joseph.

“We always plan our holidays to Cumbria to coincide with the Blues’ first home game of the season,” she said.

War service with the RAF saw Jacky packing parachutes in North Africa, Italy and Gibraltar. At the same time, United withdrew from the Football League in 1939, only returning when the war ended.

BBC Radio Cumbria’s Val Armstrong was Jacky’s friend and neighbour for 10 years, accompanying him to many matches. “He was a lovely, kind, gentle man who loved his football,” she said. “He had a wonderful dry sense of humour.

“If he saw a television that wasn’t showing a match, he’d say there was something faulty with it.”

In his 85 years as a fan, Jacky saw United rise to the top of the Football League in 1974 – and drop out of it altogether in 2004. He also saw over 40 changes of manager.

Carlisle United media officer Andy Hall paid tribute to Jacky. He said: “Everyone at Brunton Park seemed to know him.

“He could talk about the game, laugh about the game and be critical too. I think everyone here was hit when they heard about his death at such a poignant time of the year. He’s going to be really missed.”

Jacky passed away on Christmas Eve. His funeral is next Monday, 2.20pm, at Carlisle Crematorium.

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