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Even though some of their biggest transfers ever have happened fairly recently, Carlisle United are still far from being the sort of club to splash the cash on a regular basis. Their current record transfer, for example, dates back to the 2001/02 season when they acquired the services of Richie Foran from Shelbourne FC for a reported fee of £216,000.
The then 21-year-old winger’s arrival meant that Steven Hayward’s record fee of £113,000 from 1994/95 would finally be surpassed. And interestingly enough, they would also come fairly close to eclipsing the record once again in the years following the arrival of Foran.
The closest, however, was in 2006/07 when they bought Joe Garner from Blackburn Rovers for a sum of £189,000, which is still their second biggest purchase to date. Kevan Hursts’ £153,000 figure from 2009/10 rounds off the top three most expensive signings Carlisle United have ever done.
On the other side of the business is once again Garner himself, who became their most lucrative sale to date with his departure to Nottingham Forest for £1.4m just a couple of seasons after his initial arrival.
Garner is then closely followed by Ian Harte’s £1.1m move to Reading and Gary Madine’s £1m departure to Sheffield Wednesday. And those three sales are the only three that eclipse the one-million-pound mark at the club.
We simply have to mention Chris Balderstone on the list of the most famous transfers at the club. Even though he was bought for a sum that would nowadays pass as change at best, Balderstone ended up spending a decade at the club, etching his name in the history books as well.
Michael Bridges is another name often on the lips of many fans. Even though his spells were loan deals that saw him move in and out of the club constantly, he was often the saviour they needed in their dark hours.
And we shouldn’t forget Hughie McIlmoyle for his three spells at the club as well which made him a true household name and every return to the team brought excitement with it. Of course, these are just some of the names and there are certainly many more such as Foran and Garner, both for their big fees back in the day.