I first met Ivor Broadis when I was still a schoolboy, so it was my good fortune to have known him for a long, long time before he sadly died last Friday.

Even in the very early stages of my Carlisle career, my dad said “that’s the man you need to put your trust in”, so he was somebody I have always thought highly of. 

Throughout my career, I played with some truly great players, including some of United’s side who played for the club during their famous 1974/75 season in the First Division. 

But, for me, Ivor is the best player in Carlisle United’s history.

I have never known anyone say a bad word about the man. I’m glad Ivor was given the freedom of Carlisle by Carlisle City Council back in October because I would have hated for them to have left it too late to honour him.

Even when he became a reporter, he was exceptional at that, too. You could always tell Ivor anything and you knew you could trust him. I will always have fond memories of him.

He deserved the life he had. I have also been on holiday and, when I have mentioned I’m from Carlisle, some have said “Isn’t that where Ivor Broadis, the youngest man to be manager of a Football League team, used to manage?”

I was lucky enough to be at Carlisle’s 1957 FA Cup tie with Birmingham, during Ivor’s second spell with Carlisle, which ended in a 3-3 draw when Alf Ackerman scored a hat-trick.

Back on present day matters with the Blues, and it sounds like Steven Pressley was really struggling for players on Saturday, with the likes of Jamie Devitt and Kelvin Etuhu the latest added to the injury list, as United went down to a 3-0 defeat.

United were working with a threadbare squad anyway and this glut of injuries have come at the worst time possible, really. I wasn’t at the match at the Lamex Stadium but it sounds like the Cumbrians never really got going. 

In recent matches at Forest Green and Tranmere, where Carlisle took only one point out of the six available, at least there were spells in the game where the Blues looked dangerous.

At Forest Green, the Cumbrians easily could have broken the deadlock before Reece Brown gave Rovers the lead, albeit Nathan Thomas levelled things up three minutes after the restart to ensure Pressley’s side got a share of the spoils.

Then, at Tranmere, Carlisle were the better team for most of the first half before Micky Mellon’s men ran away with things after the restart with Ollie Banks, James Norwood and Manny Monthe scoring.

Now sitting four points outside the top seven, I think Carlisle’s chances of getting into the play-offs have more or less gone. It’s just a matter of playing the season out now, although it should be a good game today with leaders Lincoln set to bring more than 2,000 fans to Brunton Park.

Last weekend was a bad weekend all-round for Cumbrian football, really, with Workington Reds’ relegation from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League being confirmed after Saturday’s home defeat to Gainsborough Trinity. 

Since then, Lee Andrews has also announced he is to step down from his role at Borough Park at the end of the season.