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Affiliate of the month: Carlisle United Supporters’ Club London Branch

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Every month the Football Supporters’ Federation features an affiliate or associate member to highlight good work carried out by fans. If you’d like to appear appear email info@fsf.org.uk . This month, it’s the turn of the Carlisle United Supporters’ Club London Branch (some of whom are pictured above on Soccer AM). David Brown from CUSC London Branch tells more…

Formed in 1974 in Carlisle’s only season in the top flight, we’ll soon be celebrating our 40th anniversary. We’re very active in our aims of supporting exiled Carlisle fans with information, events, sport, travel, meeting places and sponsoring the club.

There are now over 300 members from Benbecula to Jersey and all points in between as well as a scattering in France, Netherlands, Norway, Malaysia, Australia and the USA.

Our fanzine Hit The Bar! is now one of the longest running football fanzines with over 270 issues and we have a weekly e-newsletter, Virtual Hit The Bar!, as well as our website and Twitter feed @cusclbontour.

Events are often attended by 40-80 members and have included Q&As with the club directors and, occasionally, the manager or former players such as Stan Bowles. Other events have included our AGM at the Tower Of London and another at the Houses of Parliament.

Our annual summer trip has now been going for over 35 years starting with a day trip to Brighton, although it’s now evolved into 3-4 days in foreign cities such as Berlin, Lisbon and most recently Gdansk.

Our supporters’ football team regularly play the opposition on our away day trips and has even included the legendary Jimmy Glass on a number of occasions – always as a striker!

Members travel together to most away games (and quite a few home games) and the pub we designate as the meeting pub for away games is now visited with anticipation by many of the home-based supporters too.

We try to raise as much money as possible for the club through donations, raffles, events and competitions. We usually sponsor a home match each season as well as the community coach, the youth team winter kit, extended highlights on the website and other areas when the club makes a request.

We’re lucky to have a close relationship with the club owners and are able to provide honest feedback from a fans’ perspective. This hasn’t always been the case with one former owner threatening to sue us as he didn’t like the comments we were writing in our fanzine – his name was Michael Knighton.

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