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United say goodbye to oldest fan

12 June 2020

Everyone at the club was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of United’s oldest fan last weekend – Jack McDowell.

Jack, who turned 107 in March, celebrated his 100th birthday with us at Brunton Park where he got to meet his all-time favourite player Hugh McIlmoyle, who he described as ‘the best forward and player I had the pleasure to see.’

Most recently a resident at Barn Close, here in Carlisle, he was a regular at the weekly activity sessions hosted by John Halpin’s Community Sports Trust team, and was even seen to be kicking a football during one session, putting some of the first team members who had popped along to visit to shame.

As well as Hugh, he cited Alf Ackerman, Ivor Broadis and Alan Ashman among his other favourite players, and he recalled being at the club’s first ever football league home game against Bradford City back in 1928.

Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “We had the mayor, former and current players and his family and friends in the boardroom when Jack turned 100 a few years ago, and it was a pleasure to meet him.

“He had a lot of fond memories of Brunton Park and of the team, and it was fascinating to hear about the early years when we first came into the league system.

“I know the Community staff under John [Halpin] have kept close contact with Jack and we are very sorry to hear the news.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.”

CST manager John Halpin said: “Jack was just a lovely man. He was very involved with our activities and I know he really appreciated it when the club came along to see him, be that staff or players, because Carlisle United had been such a huge part of his life.

“We’ll all really miss him, and it will be strange not to see him in his usual spot when we go back to Barn Close.

“On behalf of everyone I send our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.”

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