Martin Harvey, the former Carlisle United manager and coach, has died.

The former Northern Ireland player, who was involved at Brunton Park in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was 78.

Carlisle chairman Andrew Jenkins today paid tribute to Harvey.

The Blues co-owner said: "He was an absolute gentleman who had a huge depth of football knowledge.

“He was a strong assistant to Bobby Moncur and his opinion was always respected. Jimmy Bendall had no hesitation in appointing him as manager when Bobby left us and he had an infectious enthusiasm in his approach to coaching the players.

“There really isn’t a bad word to say about him. He worked hard, he brought new ideas and he demanded a lot from his players.

“I am deeply saddened to hear this news and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Harvey joined the Blues under Moncur after the Newcastle legend took charge in 1976.

After Moncur left Carlisle for Hearts, Harvey took caretaker charge and led the Blues on an impressive run which saw a sixth-placed finish in the 1979/80 campaign.

That run, with a side that included the likes of Peter Beardsley, Trevor Swinburne, Paul Bannon and Bobby Parker, earned him the job on a permanent basis before he left the club early into the following campaign.

He later followed Moncur to Plymouth where he was assistant manager and, for a spell, caretaker boss.

His playing career saw a long spell with Sunderland which brought more than 350 appearances.

The Belfast-born player, a wing-half, also earned 34 caps for Northern Ireland and scored three goals.

He later had a spell on the Sunderland coaching staff, and served as Northern Ireland assistant manager in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Harvey went on to have a coaching spell at Millwall before returning to Plymouth to settle in the area.

Plymouth also paid tribute to Harvey and said on their website: "Everyone at Home Park sends their sincere condolences to Martin's family and friends."