Lord Brian Mawhinney, former Chairman of the Football League, has died at the age of 79, following a long battle with illness.
He served as Football League chairman from January 2003 to March 2010, overseeing one of the biggest and most successful changes in English football, with the reorganisation of the league structure.
United chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “I had a huge amount of respect for Lord Mawhinney. He was extremely proud of his role as chairman of the Football League and it was a job he took very seriously.
“He had a great ability to listen and then to form a way forward which took everyone with him, and he was very well liked because of that.
“We used to talk about all of the issues of the day whenever we met, and I was honoured when he took time to travel up from his home to attend an event which marked my 50 years with Carlisle United.
“There aren’t many people who would do that, and it was a measure of the type of man he was. The thoughts of everyone at Carlisle United are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
EFL Chair Rick Parry said: “Everyone associated with the EFL is saddened to hear of the loss of Lord Mawhinney, a hugely respected and influential figure in our recent past, most notably for his work as Chairman of the Football League but also for the significant impact he had on the wider game.
“Lord Mawhinney was awarded a Life Membership in 2012 for the significant contribution he made to the League during his seven years at the helm, during which, he made a number of important introductions as part of a substantive programme of governance reforms.
“He was also the driving force behind the League’s first solidarity arrangement with the Premier League, the formation of the Football League Trust and a significant rebranding to support subsequent commercial development.
“Club owners, their respective teams and staff at the EFL remember Lord Mawhinney’s time at the league fondly and our collective thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”