So many happy memories of that club!
The Widnes game was my first ever game (aged seven or eight) there seemed to be teams playing out of every pub at one point.
As I lived in Harraby, the move to Gilford Park was very welcomed in our house as it was only a ten minute walk, the way the ground developed, especially the impressive stand that went up behind the posts was a testament to the board and club.
Rugby League was in most of the primary schools, delivered by Garry Schubert who was a hero to me and lots of other lads who 'became' Rugby League players. My school, Inglewood were generally pretty successful in that competition. When I became an RL Development Officer at Hemel it was all down to Carlisle
I remember the Regal Trophy game against Cas, the next round against Hunslet (I think) and then a trip to Headingley for the Quarter Final.
Loved everything about the club, the original fox badge with the RL of CaRLisle highlighted, the Border Raider and that crazy shirt with the red and white striped sides.
The free tickets we got from our schools, the learning of all these crazy town names we played against, finally working out that Bramley and Batley were different and not just a spelling error, realising after many years the 'gh' in Keighley were not silent like in Leigh.
The players were all members of the Crest Hotel leisure club and my mam worked there so I used to hassle them all the time for training tips when I was 10.
Playing for the Carlisle U9s and 11s and training sessions where Hitro would turn up to watch and help, being a ball boy, putting the numbers up on the score board, getting the maths wrong and being shouted at by the Ultras on the covered terrace, whilst throwing a ball around on the pitch at half time.
The ground was basic but it was my teams ground.
Loved playing there in the latter guise of the Centurions and was fortunate enough to score a few trys, kick a few goals and be the Tannoy announcer at a game!
Thank you Carlisle RL - you got me into this sport and I have had an absolute ball!