On the 50th anniversary of the day Carlisle United were promoted to the First Division, a look back at what some key figures said about the remarkable achievement.

ALAN ASHMAN – United’s manager

“When we beat Oxford [in the penultimate game] I knew we would make it. We played so well, so fantastically well, that we knew we had to go up.

“But it’s the style of play we’ve had for the whole season. We play attractive football, score good goals, and it’s those scorers who have put us where we are.

“We’ve put everything into every single match this season and that’s why we’re going up.

News and Star: Alan Ashman, centre, with Les O'Neill, left, and John Gorman, right, celebrate the news of United's promotion in the Cumberland Newspapers offices on May 3, 1974Alan Ashman, centre, with Les O'Neill, left, and John Gorman, right, celebrate the news of United's promotion in the Cumberland Newspapers offices on May 3, 1974 (Image: News & Star)

“We’re just going to enjoy promotion for the next few days, and enjoy having a good time. There’ll be a time when we’ve got to think about some of the great teams we will meet, but that time hasn’t come yet.

“The supporters are the ones we’ve done this for. The people who are regular, solid United supporters are the ones who should really walk tall now.

“They’re not the biggest band of supporters, but they’re the people we want at Brunton Park. And now we’re in the First Division, we’re expecting more and more regular fans to back us.”

DICK YOUNG – long-serving trainer

“I never visualised 19 years ago that Carlisle would reach Division One – and bypass a club like Manchester United on the way up.

“It’s hard to believe. Now it’ll make people sit up and take notice. Southerners will be saying, ‘Carlisle must be in England’. Most people down there think we’re Scots.

“When we got promoted to the Second Division [in 1965] it all depended on winning the last game at Brunton Park. The atmosphere was all there at the ground – that was the big night.

News and Star: Dick YoungDick Young (Image: News & Star)

“This time we’ve had to wait and somehow the excitement’s not the same. But it’s a great achievement for the club and for everyone at Brunton Park. We’ve got a small staff and we don’t compare with the majority of clubs.

“There are only two teams in next season’s First Division we haven’t played – Leeds and West Ham – but we’ve never been disgraced. With our style of play we should do well.”

DENNIS MARTIN – United winger

“What a night. I’m dying to get back in the top division.

“The difference will be in the penalty area, where it will be harder to find space.

News and Star: Dennis MartinDennis Martin (Image: PA)

“But I think we play the right kind of football for the First Division, and I can’t wait for the new season.”

JOHN GORMAN – United left-back

“Magic. I still don’t believe it. Come round and tell me tomorrow, will you? I want to know it’s all true.”

News and Star: John GormanJohn Gorman (Image: PA)

BOBBY OWEN – United forward

“The goal at Oxford [to win United’s penultimate game] was a goal I will always remember, especially now we have won promotion.

“We were struggling in the first half, but at half-time John Gorman said I would score. And that’s just what I did.

News and Star: Bobby OwenBobby Owen (Image: PA)

“Looking back, that’s one of the most important goals of my life.

“I can’t wait to get back to [my former club] Manchester City and show them what United were made of. I never thought I would be back there playing against City – it’s just fantastic.”

ALLAN ROSS – United’s goalkeeper

“Thank you all for your support, and to the lads of the Warwick Road End – you have been magnificent.

“You know going to the end of the ground is like going to Liverpool’s famous Kop, and they are supposed to be the best supporters in the world.

News and Star: Allan Ross, pictured in 1974 with daughter AliAllan Ross, pictured in 1974 with daughter Ali (Image: News & Star)

“But that claim is not for me. That title belongs to you lads of the Warwick Road End.”

HUGH LITTLE – Carlisle’s mayor in 1974

“What an achievement. It couldn’t have happened at a better time and will really put the city on the map.

“This is the greatest tonic and morale booster for years, but let’s not forget the players and manager. They’re the ones who have worked hard throughout the season, and this shouldn’t be forgotten in all the exuberance.

News and Star: Hugh LittleHugh Little (Image: News & Star)

“Promotion should have the same effect on Carlisle as the FA Cup had on Sunderland last year. Business is bound to benefit.

“There will be a civic reception next week – they have earned this. I hope the public turn out in force to congratulate the team.”

GEORGE SHEFFIELD – United’s chairman

“The most important thing the directors did was to bring a certain gentleman [Ashman] back from Greece.

“I think the directors, in their own quiet way, have done marvellously. They don’t publicise themselves, they just get on with the business in hand.”

News and Star: E.G.SheffieldE.G.Sheffield (Image: News & Star)

RON LEWIS – Carlisle’s member of parliament in 1974

“This is a richly-deserved success. It will be a great boost to the city and I’ll be with them all the way in the First Division.”

News and Star: Ron Lewis MPRon Lewis MP (Image: News & Star)

REG BELL – Carlisle Chamber of Trade secretary

“From the trade point of view I feel confident that it will have tremendous impact. There will be more people coming into the city, particularly from the outer districts of Cumbria.”

HUNTER DAVIES – bestselling Cumbrian author

“I made them put the radio on in the pub I was in. I’ll remember the night Carlisle went up all my life. It’ll become like the night Kennedy was shot – unforgettable.

“I predicted that they would win the double this year – the cup and promotion.

“They lost out in the cup – never mind. They can do the real double next year.”

News and Star: Hunter DaviesHunter Davies (Image: News & Star)

COLIN BARTON – United supporters’ club secretary

“We have worked as a team right through from the Fourth Division days and I’m sure that atmosphere will continue to prevail. We will take the new events as they come.

“The supporters’ club face a harder job but on the other hand our prospects could be brighter because people should rally round United now they are in the First Division.

“There are bound to be a lot of problems but we have to face up to them. I feel about the same as I felt when we went up into the Second Division for the first time – success depends on how we settle down and work together.”

WILLIAM HIRST – Carlisle’s town clerk, ahead of the civic reception

“The city is saying thank-you to the team.

“They thoroughly deserve this reception – promotion is an excellent thing for the city.”