News & Star column 01.10.2020

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I live and breathe Carlisle United because of my dad. He took me into the ‘Scratching Pen’ when I was just a boy and ever since the Blues have been in my blood.

In the FA Cup we followed the team around the country and I have memories that will last forever.

Frank died 15 years ago but I know wherever he is, he will still be looking out for the Blues.

Bizarrely, with fans locked out of stadiums because of coronavirus we can now be in Brunton Park together again – even if it is just cut-outs of our faces. I’m sure he would like that.

That’s why I am buying into the Face in the Crowd initiative that is being run jointly by CUOSC and the club as part of the ‘Carlisle REUnited’ campaign.

Even though we can’t be there in person this is a chance for supporters to be there in spirit, support the team and help the club.

Fans will be able to have a cut-out of their face printed and displayed in the ground, with profits going into Carlisle REUnited fund – where the money will be ring-fenced to help the club through the pandemic.

CUOSC have received early positive feedback from supporters and it looks like it could prove popular with around 60 sold in the first few days.

The cost is £25 including VAT. You will also receive a certificate of authenticity which also allows you to preview the cut-out.

Nigel Davidson, vice chairman of CUOSC, said: “It is great to see the Face in the Crowd initiative get off to such an excellent start.

“At this time when we are unable to get back into Brunton Park to watch the Blues we can at least feel we are part of the match spectacle.

“Everyone who buys a cut-out is helping the club.”

To find out more or to order your photo to be displayed at Brunton Park, go to the following website: https://www.faceinthecrowd.store and click on Carlisle United.

The upper body cut-outs will be displayed on 4mm Correx signs designed to withstand the Cumbrian winter.

Images of the display will be posted on the club’s official media channels and the CUOSC website. It is hoped the first ones will be installed at Brunton Park for Saturday’s game against Barrow.

When fans return or the season is completed you can then have the cut-outs back or donate them to the club. It may be possible to be photographed with them or for them to be signed by the players.

Malcolm Nugent