Managing to succeed: Workington

By Ray Simpson

Managing to succeed: Workington

Well known Workington managers

We're only doing an 8 page programme for the Workington game on Friday (Onsale for £1), so here's the "Managing to Succeed" feature that usually goes in the normal size programme.


Football historian LEIGH EDWARDS profiles ten leading Workington managers


Former Scotland international right-half Bill Shankly had a spell in charge of Workington during his legendary managerial career. He moved from Carlisle United to Preston in July 1933, starring in their 1933-34 promotion success and two FA Cup finals including the 1938 Wembley triumph. Returning to Carlisle as manager in March 1949, he became Grimsby Town's boss in July 1951 and managed Workington from January 1954 until December 1955. He moved via Huddersfield Town to Liverpool in December 1959 and guided them to three League Championships, FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory before retiring in July 1974. He died in September 1981. 


Joe Harvey spent five years as Workington’s manager. Initially with Edlington Rangers, the wing-half moved via Bradford PA to Wolves in November 1936 and followed the well-worn trail to Bournemouth in May 1937. He joined Newcastle United in October 1945 and skippered promotion in 1947-48, then FA Cup final glory in 1951 and 1952. Briefly Crook’s trainer, he managed Barrow for two years, then Workington from June 1957 until rejoining Newcastle in June 1962. He managed them back to the top-flight in 1964-65, Fairs Cup final success in 1969 and the 1974 FA Cup final. Later Newcastle’s general manager, he died in February 1989. 


Player-manager Ken Furphy managed Workington to promotion in 1963-64. Initially with Everton, the wing-half moved via Runcorn to Darlington in August 1953 and starred in their 1957-58 FA Cup run. He became Workington's player-boss in July 1962 and plotted successive Cup runs, netting three goals in 105 League games. Joining Watford as player-manager in November 1964, he guided them to the Third Division title in 1968-69 and FA Cup semi-finals in 1969-70. He moved to Blackburn Rovers in August 1971, then managed Sheffield United, New York Cosmos, Detroit Express and Washington Diplomats. He died in January 2015.


Long-serving defender Keith Burkinshaw had a spell as Workington’s player-manager. Initially with Denaby, he moved via Liverpool to Workington in December 1957 and starred in their 1963-64 promotion success. He was player-boss from November 1964 until March 1965, scoring nine goals in 295 League games prior to joining Scunthorpe in May 1965. After coaching Newcastle, he became Spurs’ boss in July 1976, leading them to promotion in 1977-78, FA Cup success in 1981 and 1982 and UEFA Cup glory before leaving in May 1984. Later managing Bahrain, Sporting Lisbon, Gillingham and West Brom, he became Watford's assistant-boss.


Ex-England Youth left-back Peter Hampton managed Workington to the North West Counties League title in 1998-99. Signing professional for Leeds United in September 1971, he secured a regular first-team slot after Frank Gray switched to midfield and was a semi-finalist in the FA Cup in 1976-77 and League Cup in 1977-78. He joined Stoke City in August 1980, then Burnley in August 1984. Later with Rochdale and Carlisle United, he was physio at Brunton Park for 11 years. He managed Workington from May 1998 until October 2001, then ran his own private physiotherapy practice and worked at Cumberland Infirmary. He died in September 2020.



Former Northern Ireland international midfielder Tommy Cassidy managed Workington’s 2005 Northern Premier League Premier Division play-off final success. Starting with Glentoran, he joined Newcastle United in October 1970, helping win the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1973 and Texaco Cup twice. He also played in the 1974 FA Cup final and 1976 League Cup final. Moving to Burnley in July 1980, he featured in their 1981-82 Third Division title triumph, becoming Apoel’s player-boss. He managed Gateshead, Glentoran, Ards, Sligo Rovers, Workington from October 2001 until September 2007, Newcastle Blue Star, Whitby Town and Blyth Spartans.  


Darren Edmondson managed Workington to the Conference North play-offs in 2006-07 and 2009-10. Initially with Carlisle United, the right-back starred as they won the Third Division title and were Auto Windscreens Shield finalists in 1994-95. He also featured in their 1996-97 promotion campaign, moving to Huddersfield for £200,000 in March 1997. Following spells at York City, Chester and Barrow, he joined Workington in January 2006. He was the Reds’ manager from September 2007 until December 2013, then managed Barrow to the Conference North title in 2014-15 before Academy manager at Carlisle and Rochdale. Now Penrith’s boss.


Player-manager Gavin Skelton guided Workington to the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-offs in 2014-15. A former midfielder, he began with Carlisle United and joined Workington in July 2000. He moved to Gretna in July 2001 and featured in their rise to the Scottish Premier League, also playing in the 2006 Scottish Cup final. Following spells at Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical and Barrow, he rejoined Workington as player-coach in July 2013 and was player-manager from May 2014 until June 2015, scoring once in 78 games overall. He was Queen of the South’s player-boss, then had a spell at Annan before coaching back at Carlisle.


Derek Townsley managed Workington to the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-off final in 2015-16. A former postman in Carlisle, he played for Gretna prior to joining Queen of the South and appeared in the 1997 Scottish Challenge Cup final. He moved to Motherwell in May 1999, then had spells with Hibernian and Oxford United before rejoining Gretna in January 2004. Starring in their rise to the Scottish Premier League, he also played in the 2006 Scottish Cup final. He joined Workington in February 2007, then played for Newcastle Blue Star, Penrith and Annan Athletic, returning to Workington as manager from May 2015 until June 2016.


Dave Hewson was a player, coach and manager during 15 years at Workington. Starting with Harraby Catholic Club, the midfielder had two seasons at Gretna before joining Workington in July 2003. He scored the winning penalty in the play-off shoot-out that took the Reds into the Conference North in 2005. Captaining them to the Conference North play-offs in 2006-07 and 2009-10, he made 332 appearances before a knee injury ended his career in May 2013. He was coach, then joint manager with Lee Andrews from June 2016 until December 2018, guiding Workington to the Northern Premier League play-offs in 2016-17. He then had a spell as Penrith’s boss.