Carlisle United Football Club are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ron ‘Ginger’ Thompson, at the age of 88.
A local lad, he signed for the Blues as a youngster and played a number of positions as he became an integral part of the club through the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Almost the first name on every team sheet through his time with the club he made a total of 401 appearances for the Blues, with a whopping 373 of those coming in the league.
He bagged a total of 13 goals and was noted for his no-nonsense style of play.
Ron went into the building trade after his retirement from football and, alongside George Walker, another former-United favourite, he formed Carlisle City Football Club in 1975.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Ron was from a group of players who lived and breathed Carlisle United at that time.
“He loved wearing the shirt and he was picked by successive managers, such was his influence in the dressing room. All of the players respected him because they knew the club came first with him.
“One thing that does stick in the mind is that he used to put his boots on, then dunk his feet into a tub of water. When you asked him what he was doing he would say that it helped to mould the leather to the shape of his feet.
“On the pitch he was strong, aggressive, tough and single-minded. He didn’t score many as a wing-back, but I remember one of his goals – I’m sure it was against Crewe – when he let fly from the halfway line and the keeper had no chance.
“When you think back he played with lads like Ivor Broadis, Alf Ackerman, Alan Ashman and Jimmy Whitehouse, and he didn’t look out of place.
"I recall that he was playing so well at one point during his time with us that he and Bobby Johnson were the subject of interest and offers from Birmingham City, who were a very good first division club. Nothing came of it, but he had teams of that calibre monitoring him all the time.
“A real club man, he was liked by everybody, and he takes a huge amount of credit for the work he did with George Walker in forming Carlisle City.
"He gave good, local lads a chance to play at a decent level and that club has gone from strength to strength ever since.
“That’s an example of how focused and determined he was with everything he did, and that’s what he brought to over 400 appearances and close to 13 seasons with our club.”
The thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this time.
Image taken from the Carlisle City official website.