Today it would be Twitter or one of various scores apps. In 1968, those who were not there had to rely on the late final edition of the Cumberland Evening News.

How were Carlisle United getting on at Newcastle? A small bulletin of text on the front page told the tale…

“Late flash: Carlisle were a goal up after 11 minutes. Scorer was MURRAY.”

That tantalising update had sped across the north from one of the Blues’ most sensational cup victories. It was the storming of St James’ Park: a brilliant Carlisle upset made all the more memorable by the modest stature of their hero.

Tommy Murray was small in size but big in spirit and, crucially, timing. The Scot’s hallmark was arriving onto chances at just the right moment. At Newcastle’s cavernous ground he did so to magnificent effect, and there was nothing an illustrious Magpies team could do about it.

Murray’s winner sits highly in United’s annals, as does so much else of their day in the north-east. It was a Third Round tie rich in anticipation, since Carlisle and Newcastle had never before met in competitive action.

Tim Ward’s Blues went to St James’ with an aspiring Second Division side but faced a Magpies team of serious stature, since Joe Harvey’s top-flight hosts boasted players such as Bob Moncur, Willie McFaul, Ollie Burton, Frank Clark and the high-leaping Wyn Davies.

It was a formidable prospect, yet thousands of Cumbrians joined a 56,550 crowd after arriving in their droves in the city. Carlisle’s players, in the dressing room, heard regular announcements about the swelling size of the attendance, totting up the cup bonus money they could expect as a result.

They were also, though, there for the glory. Peter Garbutt, who performed superbly in defence, headed an early Magpies chance off the line and then, in the 11th minute, came Carlisle’s moment to savour.

News and Star: A newspaper cutting showing Tommy Murray's winning goalA newspaper cutting showing Tommy Murray's winning goal

It began with George McVitie’s fine, 40-yard pass to Frank Sharp, who was advancing down the left. He sped past Burton and aimed a cross into the heart of the Newcastle box.

It found Murray there, the former Airdrieonians man having darted into space, and he glanced the ball past the despairing McFaul.

The moment brought disbelieving cheers from United’s supporters, and was followed by more bold Cumbrian play, as Newcastle tried to counter with a robust style that relied on the aerial prowess of Davies.

News and Star: Action from the FA Cup tie at a packed St James' ParkAction from the FA Cup tie at a packed St James' Park

Garbutt and Gordon Marsland, though, combined at the heart of Carlisle’s defence to restrict the centre-forward, while £70,000 man Jackie Sinclair was subdued by the committed Terry Caldwell. Up front, Carlisle threatened further through John Rudge and Chris Balderstone, and when their hopes of securing the upset were thrown into the balance when Davies was felled in the box in the second half, another hero emerged.

It was goalkeeper Allan Ross, who had studied Burton’s penalty-taking technique in match programme photographs. He met the kick with a fine save and skipper Peter McConnell completed the clearance.

Newcastle’s best chance of parity went with it, and Carlisle held on through a dogged last 10 minutes. The final whistle heralded a famous 1-0 win and upwards of 12,000 fans who had travelled from Cumbria via road and rail made themselves heard anew.

The canny Murray also enjoyed his moment. “All that talk about the Davies danger, and then the smallest player on the park scores the winner with his head,” he said - while his fellow Scot, Ross, was also left to savour an unforgettable highlight of his long United career.

News and Star: United's heroes, including scorer Tommy Murray, third left, and penalty hero Allan Ross, back right, toast their famous win in the dressing roomUnited's heroes, including scorer Tommy Murray, third left, and penalty hero Allan Ross, back right, toast their famous win in the dressing room

“The kind of save you lie in bed and dream about,” he said of his penalty heroics.

Manager Ward was in no doubt, meanwhile, that Carlisle were the superior of the two Uniteds on the day. “I thought we were the better footballing team and thoroughly deserved the victory,” he said.

There was praise, too, for the Blues’ rail-going supporters – “well-behaved” en route, according to British Railways – while national newspapers also saluted their team. The Sun reckoned “there is no substitute for good football, and Carlisle had that in abundance”, while the Sunday Express praised the Cumbrians for doing what no top-flight side had so far achieved in 1967/8: winning at St James’ Park.

Ward’s side went on to a Fourth Round home tie with a star-studded Everton, who got the better of the Blues at Brunton Park. So out of the cup they valiantly bowed, but their conquering of a Newcastle side only a year away from Fairs Cup glory was untarnished for all time – likewise the intrepid scoring feats of Murray, their little big man.

Newcastle: McFaul, Burton, Clark, Elliott, McNamee, Moncur, Sinclair, Scott, Davies, Iley, T Robson. Sub: Craig.

Carlisle: Ross, Neil, Caldwell, McConnell, Garbutt, Marsland, McVitie, Murray, Rudge, Balderstone, Sharp. Sub: Passmoor.