Carlisle United were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former-Blue Joe Laidlaw, at the age of 71.
Laidlaw, a tough and combative midfield figure, played for United between 1972 and 1976 and was a prominent part of the squad that got to promoted to, and played in, the top-flight during that season in the sun in 1974/75.
Indeed he finished as the club’s top scorer with 12 strikes that season, having notched in the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa the season before - claiming club legend status at the time - the game that secured the Cumbrians their spot in Division One.
A player who could play on either wing, or through the middle, he was brought to Brunton Park having cut his teeth with Middlesbrough, where his no-nonsense approach caught the eye of a host of scouts.
He also played for Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth, Hereford United and Mansfield Town – he skippered the Pompey team to promotion in 1980, and ended his time on the south coast with an impressive haul of 23 goals from 75 appearances.
A brief spell as a player with Waterlooville preceded a management career which put him in the technical area with Petersfield, Fareham, Chichester and Selsey.
His grandson Harvey is currently part of the Portsmouth academy set-up, and his granddaughter Grace is a member of the Portsmouth women’s development squad.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Joe was a reliable player who always worked hard for the team.
“I remember we got him for £20,000 from Middlesbrough and we were all really pleased when the deal was done.
“He had a bullet of a shot – one of those where when the ball was hit, it stayed hit.
“Some of the goals he scored were fantastic and the fans liked that about him, as well as the fact that he was a stocky player who was impossible to shake off the ball.
“He was a very sociable and likeable man, well respected because of his ability, and he was a pleasure to talk to.
"Funnily enough we shared the same date of birth [12 July] so we’d always joke about what we got each other which, of course, was nothing more than a handshake.
“I would like to pass on the thoughts and condolences of everyone connected with Carlisle United to his family and loved ones at this sad time.”