Aspatria have organised a sell-out lunch as a benefit for one of Cumbria’s most celebrated players.

David Robinson, who coached the Black Reds in the early 1990s is struggling with Alzheimer’s and reduced mobility.

Robinson was a member of the North West Counties side which famously beat the All Blacks 16-14 at Workington in 1972.

He played for Cockermouth and Carlisle before making his name on a wider stage with Birkenhead Park and Gosforth. For the North East side, he played in two back-to-back winning John Player Cup finals at Twickenham.

Newcastle Falcons, in fact, organised an event of their own to raise funds for the former Gosforth hero back in November.

Aspatria official Barney Clegg said: “We saw what the Falcons had done and we decided we should do something as well at Bower Park.

“The lunch was set up for Saturday, January 18 when we are at home to Eccles and within 72 hours it was sold-out to capacity.”

Friends and associates of “Robbo” who are unable to attend the lunch, have sent donations.

Dave, an England A cap who toured the Far East with the international squad, has been a Dovenby farmer for many years and the concern is that because of mobility issues he may have to give up the tenancy of the farm.

“Robbo” was a popular figure on the rugby union circuit, and so too was Richard Atkinson, a Keswick bed and breakfast proprietor who died suddenly on Saturday.

He had collapsed ahead of the bus departure for Penrith and could not be revived.

Chairman Trevor Keough said: “Richard was a wonderful bloke and a great servant to the Keswick club, holding various roles over the years from captain to chairman. He was currently involved in marketing and sponsorship for us.

“His death at 56 has come as a great shock to everyone at the club where his son and daughter are both players.”

The club will be paying a special tribute ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Broughton Park.

The game at Penrith was subsequently postponed and will be played on January 25.

Richard’s funeral will be held at 11.30am on Friday, January 17 at St John’s Church, Keswick, followed by a gathering at Keswick RFC.

Penrith resume tomorrow at Stockport, which should be a tight, interesting encounter. The Cumbrians are seventh, two points and one place above their hosts, but with a game in hand on them.

Aspatria escaped the relegation zone in North Two West after beating Bolton 26-20 but are just one point from the drop zone.

It’s extremely tight down there with eight points separating the bottom seventh. Tomorrow Aspatria travel to Salford to take-on De La Salle who are seventh bottom.

Carlisle will welcome the prospect of a Cumbrian derby to rouse them after a rather subdued effort at Ilkley saw them start 2020 with a disappointing defeat.

Matt Shields’ men, beaten 32-29 by the bottom side in North Premier, will be looking for a response against Kirkby Lonsdale at Warwick Road tomorrow.

The two county clubs are just below half-way – 8th and 9th in the table - with Carlisle trailing their visitors by just two points.

It will not have been forgotten by the Carlisle coach and his team that their first defeat after promotion to North Premier came in the third game where they crashed 43-7 at Kirkby Lonsdale.

To gain some degree of revenge Carlisle will have to step-up on what they produced at bottom side Ilkley last week-end when they went down 32-29.

The Cumbria League is proving a good competition this time and best game tomorrow is third-placed Whitehaven hosting fourth-in-the-table Upper Eden.

Wigton will expect to get back on track at home to lowly Furness after two successive defeats while the two joint-leaders should both win.