Tributes have been paid to Carlisle United legend Peter McConnell who has died at the age of 82.

McConnell passed away at his Leeds home yesterday, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

A wing-half, McConnell, nicknamed "Skip", started his career at Leeds United before he joined Carlisle in 1962.

At Brunton Park, he was immediately installed as club captain and led the team under Alan Ashman to its first-ever league title when the club topped Division Three at the end of the 1964/65 campaign – a second consecutive promotion with the club having finished second in Division Four the season before.

Seven seasons with the Blues saw him make just under 300 appearances in all competitions and he moved back to Yorkshire to join Bradford ahead of the 1969/70 campaign.

Fellow Carlisle sixties star George McVitie said: "He got up once a year, just to stay with me. He took me under his wing, really, he was just that kind of guy.

"He led them on consecutive promotions. That was a really good era for the club."

"While he was with Carlisle, he said that was the proudest moment of his career when he won them the Third Division," McVitie added.

"That’s why he always liked to get back. He was, obviously, well remembered, as well."

"I know people use the word 'legend' a lot, but there is no doubt in my mind that Peter was a genuine and true Carlisle United legend," chairman Andrew Jenkins said on United's website.

"He was one of a kind, a fantastic character, and it was an honour to have known him.

"On and off the pitch, he was a leader and he combined a quick sense of humour with a calm and approachable manner which brought respect from everybody he worked and played with.

"He absolutely loved Carlisle, as we’ve seen from the number of times he has come back to visit us over the years, and I know he looked back at his time here as the most enjoyable period of his playing career.

"There is so much you could say about Peter because he lived and breathed the club and he was such a likeable man. I can’t put into words how highly I thought of him."

Jenkins added: "I remember once, when we played Reading, that he was on the receiving end of an awful tackle. It left him with a huge gash on his shin, which was bleeding heavily, but he got into the dressing room at half-time, stuck a bandage on it and carried on.

"He really shouldn’t have done that because it was a bad injury, but that typified his approach to the game.

"He was a real competitor and he would play through all kinds of injuries and ailments, because he felt he was best served helping the team out in the pitch.

"Everyone knew him as ‘Skip’ and I know he was proud of that.

"He is a huge loss and my thoughts, and those of everyone at the club, are with his wife, Mary, his family and friends at this extremely sad time."