Aaron Hayden, who has returned to Carlisle United, joins a select group of players who have come back for more at Brunton Park.

Here are some of the notable names who’ve had at least two different permanent spells on the Blues’ books over the years…


Carlisle-born Cape featured in United’s second-ever Football League season of 1929/30 aged just 17. He went on to play for Newcastle United, Manchester United and QPR and, after guesting for Carlisle during World War Two, then returned to Brunton Park in 1946, making a handful of further appearances.


Scottish forward Lindsay was a regular scorer for the Blues between 1947 and 1950 after arriving from Bury. After later spells with Southport and Wigan Athletic, he returned for the second half of the 1954/55 season before moving on again.


One of United’s greatest names first crossed the Blues’ path in 1946, after being posted to Crosby-on-Eden amid RAF service. He became United player-manager at 23, still the record for the youngest Football League boss. In 1949 he sanctioned his own transfer to Sunderland and, after an illustrious period with the Black Cats as well as Manchester City, Newcastle United and England, he returned to Carlisle in 1955, reprising his brilliant inside-forward skills in his career’s latter years.

News and Star: Ivor BroadisIvor Broadis (Image: David Hollins)


Imposing Cumbrian defender Twentyman starred for the Blues from 1947 to 1953, at which point he was sold to Liverpool, the move helping United pay for the rebuild of a stand which had burned down. A decade later, he was back at Brunton Park to play a part in a section of the 1963/64 Division Four promotion campaign.


United’s greatest winger began as a young player at his home-city club and shot through the ranks between 1965 and 1970. After spells at West Bromwich Albion and Oldham Athletic, he was back with the Blues in 1976 and spent another five years there in the post-First Division era.


The Blues’ most brilliant player of all was so attached to United that he returned for three permanent spells. Between 1962 and 1964 the young striker, signed from Rotherham, delivered stunning goalscoring returns, and after time with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City, he came back for another potent spell from 1969 to 1971. Hughie was lured away again, to Middlesbrough and Preston North End, before coming back at United from Morton for one lash hurrah in the 1974/75 top-fight campaign.


A young defender signed from West Brom in 1973, McCartney had an increasingly influential and dependable spell at the club until 1980 and then, after spells at Southampton and Plymouth Argyle, the Scot returned north and remained with United from 1983 to 1987, playing in all four divisions for the club in his two spells.

News and Star: Mike McCartneyMike McCartney (Image: News & Star)


The man who famously scored United’s winner against Roma initially joined from Newcastle in 1969 and, by 1974, had played his part in Carlisle’s climb to the First Division as well as his Anglo-Italian Cup heroics. Five years at Brighton followed, then Winstanley returned for another campaign in 1979/80.


The enduring goalscorer first came to United in the latter stages of the 1980/81 season, helping keep the Cumbrians in Division Three. The following season he shot them to promotion, before leaving for Chelsea…only to return on loan, and then permanently in 1984, while a short spell as manager in 1985 was unsuccessful.


United’s arch-goalscorer of the early 1980s brought his penalty-box skills to United from Watford in 1982, and was a key figure in Division Two for Bob Stokoe’s side. After spells with Darlington and Stockport County, he was back in 1986, going on to score the goals that kept United in the Fourth Division two years later.

News and Star: Malcolm PoskettMalcolm Poskett (Image: News & Star)


Dubliner Gorman spent four years with the Blues from 1985 having joined from Birmingham City, becoming a regular fixture in the side and starring under Clive Middlemass in 1988/89. The midfielder then had spells with Shelbourne and Shrewsbury Town before a brief stint back with United in the grim campaign of 1991/92.


The big Newcastle native first came to United in 1985 from Southampton, and spent two years with the Blues before his career took him to Hartlepool United and a host of other clubs…before, in his veteran years, the striker/defender came back in 1999, spending the subsequent campaign as player-coach before moving on again.


One of United’s finest goalkeepers was an excellent last line of defence from 1983 to 1985, shining for Bob Stokoe’s Division Two aspirants. After spells back north of the border, the Scot returned in 1988 to bolster Clive Middlemass’s bottom-tier side, but his departure to Kilmarnock late in 1989/90 rocked United’s fragile promotion bid.


Carlisle-born striker Fyfe’s non-league goalscoring earned him a chance with the Blues in the late-1980s and he was a regular in the side and squad until 1990, when he moved to Halifax – only to return in a swap deal for Steve Norris, Fyfe going on to spend two more years leading United’s Fourth Division line.

News and Star: Tony Fyfe, leftTony Fyfe, left (Image: News & Star)


One of the stars of United’s 1990s youth production line, Murray burst into the side in 1995 and the energetic midfielder was quickly snapped by Queens Park Rangers. The England Under-21 and B international, after further spells with Southampton, Oldham Athletic and Beira-Mar, rejoined in 2006 and added his experience to Neil McDonald’s midfield before moving on again.


West Cumbrian attacker Dobie came through the youth ranks and became a coveted player through his performances in tough Brunton Park times. After a positive first-team spell from 1997 to 2001, the Scotland international joined West Bromwich Albion and then, after time with Millwall and Nottingham Forest, came home under John Ward in January 2008, remaining at the club for two-and-a-half more years.


A £100,000 signing from Shrewsbury Town in 1997, the Maltese marksman was a reliable goalscorer until his departure in 1999 – only for Stevens to return in 2000 after a spell with Wrexham. Two more campaigns in Cumbria followed, the striker’s goals often lifting United in hard times.


Initially signed from Wigan Athletic as a teenage midfielder by Paul Simpson, Joyce was with United from the 2005/06 season to 2009, featuring for Carlisle in League One before leaving for a long stint at Accrington Stanley. Rejoined the Blues under Keith Curle in 2015 and brought his experience to their midfield for three more campaigns in League Two.

News and Star: Luke JoyceLuke Joyce (Image: Stewart Blair)


The striker had four spells with the club in total, two permanent, Garner joining from Blackburn in 2007 for £140,000 after a previous loan spell. His aggressive third-tier goalscoring displays saw him leave for Nottingham Forest in a seven-figure deal, while his career included a loan return from Watford in 2012 before, nine years later, he returned to Brunton Park in his veteran years, helping Paul Simpson’s side to League Two promotion in 2023, then leaving for Oldham this January.


The big goalkeeper from Great Salkeld joined United from Workington Reds in 2009 and soon established himself as first-choice for most of the next four years, which included Wembley success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. After spells with Rotherham United and Notts County, he rejoined under John Sheridan in 2018 and was soon in the side again after loanee Joe Fryer suffered serious injury, Collin captaining the club before his second exit in 2020.


The popular midfielder first joined Carlisle from Morecambe in 2016 and grew increasingly influential over a three-year period before leaving for Blackpool. Loan moves followed, then a permanent stint at Barrow, before he came back to Carlisle in January 2022, helping Paul Simpson’s side stay in League Two before proving a valuable squad man in 2022/23’s promotion despite injuries plaguing the Dubliner.


A deadline-day signing in January 2020, pacy Patrick was quick to make impact on Chris Beech’s side that pulled clear of relegation trouble. He was then a key man in 2020/21’s doomed promotion push and then, after a spell at Burton Albion, rejoined in January 2022 under Keith Millen. Patrick’s goals helped Simpson then deliver survival, and the following campaign wrote his name into United history with a goal at Wembley in the play-off final win…before turning down a new deal and joining Sutton United.

News and Star: Omari PatrickOmari Patrick (Image: Richard Parkes)