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CLUB: He was a big character

Martin Burleigh

27 September 2021

Carlisle United are deeply saddened to learn that former Blues stopper Martin Burleigh has died at the age of 70.

The Willington-born keeper came to Brunton Park at the start of the 1975/76 campaign with the Cumbrians having just dropped out of the top-flight.

He played the first 14 league games of that season in nets, before giving way to Allan Ross for the remainder of that campaign.

He deputised for Ross for a run of 12 fixtures the following year.

Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Martin was a big character who was a pleasure to have around. He was tall and strong in stature and very stylish in the way he kept goal.

“We used to talk about how he very much had the manner of how the goalkeepers in Europe used to do things, with flair and a bit of theatre.

“I remember that Alan Ashman was really keen to get him signed and over here to join us. When he was speaking to the board about him he said that the fans would be queuing along Warwick Road to watch him, he felt he was that good.

“We are all very sorry to hear of his passing and our thoughts are with his loved ones.”

Burleigh joined the Magpies from his local club in 1968 and spent six years at St. James' Park. He made his debut for Newcastle against Leeds United on Boxing Day 1970.

He had two spells with Darlington and also played for Hartlepool United, making more than 200 Football League appearances in all before returning to non-league football and working as a painter and decorator in Ferryhill, County Durham.

Thank you to NUFC for the use of the image.

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