Former Carlisle United owner Michael Knighton will make a charity donation in Tony Hopper’s memory as he prepares to return to the city.

The controversial ex-Blues supremo is due to appear at the Old Fire Station at a sell-out event on Friday evening.

And it has been revealed that Knighton is donating his appearance fee to charity in memory of much-missed former United and Workington Reds star Tony.

Event organiser Paul Musgrave, who will interview Knighton on stage, said: “He’s donating his appearance fee to the Motor Neurone Disease Association in Cumbria in Tony Hopper’s name.

“For all people’s opinions about him, I thought that was a nice thing to do.”

Paul said Tony’s family have been informed about the donation.

The popular player died three years ago after a brave battle with MND.

Much of his career at the Blues was spent during Knighton’s reign.

The 70-year-old former businessman is making his first public appearance in Carlisle for 19 years.

It will see Knighton relive his turbulent 10-year tenure at Brunton Park from 1992 to 2002.

The evening will see the former chairman and chief executive relive the good times of his reign, including promotions and Wembley appearances, as well the controversial and troubled times that followed.

“The event is billed as A Game of Two Halves,” Paul said. “In the first half we’ll look at his time at Manchester United, then onto his time at Carlisle, and that half will end with Wembley.

“Then there’ll be questions about the curry-house waiter, Mamcarr and so on,” he added, referring to the bizarre takeover stories that accompanied United’s decline under Knighton.

“The fascinating thing is that he has offered to do a Q&A at the end of the night. He said he’s happy to answer any question about anything.”

The event had initially been organised for last year but had to be shelved because of Covid-19.

Paul was one half of the band So What whose songs Blue Army and United! accompanied Carlisle’s Wembley trips under Knighton in 1995 and 1997 – with Knighton rapping on the first of those songs.

He said he was delighted that they are finally able to stage the event and that it promises to be an interesting evening.

“I’m grateful to people who bought tickets for sticking with it,” he added.

“Given we’ve had to rearrange it more than once, I expected a high drop-out rate, but people have stuck with it and the level of interest is there.

"From what I’m hearing, those who are coming are generally ones who have a ‘water under the bridge’ attitude about his time at the club.

“That’s not to say he’ll get an easy ride. I’m sure there will be some people who will be wanting to challenge him on a few points.

“Hopefully that will be done in a respectful way that shows Carlisle in a good light.”

After many years out of the limelight since his departure from Brunton Park, Knighton has recently re-emerged into the public eye.

A book entitled Visionary about his time at Manchester United has been published, while Knighton now describes himself as an artist, who has worked under the pseudonym Kongthin Pearlmich.
He has claimed his passion for art has brought him through “dark times” in his life.