Farewell to a dear friend
George Walker, who has died at the age of 78, was a key member of the United side that clinched the club’s first ever promotion in 1962.
He arrived at Brunton Park in March 1959 from Bristol City, scoring twice on his United debut in a 3-0 victory over Oldham.
For the next three seasons he was virtually an ever present, topping the scoring charts in both 1960/61 and during the promotion campaign. With United’s promotion hopes fading, it was George’s two goals that produced a vital win in the last away game at Doncaster before he netted the opener in the 2-0 defeat of Chester that secured promotion to Division Three.
George Walker was born in Sunderland in 1934 but spent much of his early life as an evacuee in East Yorkshire. National Service took him to the West Country and in 1956 he joined Bristol City. He made 15 league appearances (5 goals) for the Robins before manager Andy Beattie brought him to Brunton Park.
He featured in the United side that began life in Division Three until he lost his place partway through the season. Soon afterwards, he broke his leg in a reserve match, an injury that ended his career. In all, he made 164 league appearances for United, scoring 53 goals including a hat trick at Chesterfield in October 1961.
He then entered the building trade in partnership with fellow United legend Ron ‘Ginger’ Thompson, a partnership which lasted for many years. They also founded Carlisle City FC in 1975, George taking on the role of Chairman.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: "George was a lovely man and he thought the world of Carlisle as a city.
"He settled here and made his life away from football here and he was a really decent man.
"I remember he was lost for words on one occasion when he broke his leg and he was obviously out of the side. Club chairman George Sheffield took it upon himself to go and visit him at home to see how he was getting on. George commented at the time that there were very few clubs where that would happen and I think that level of friendship was one of the reasons why he loved it with us so much.
"I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say he'll be missed and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time."