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» Legends Evening 50's

Gus Risman
Gus RismanOn a night when they gathered to honour the legends of Workington Town is seems very appropriate to start with the man who was the club's first genuine legend.

Between 1946 and 1954 he played 301 times for the Town, scoring 33 tries and kicking 720 goals for an incredible total of 1,539 points. But it was also his leadership, both on and off the field, which played such a significant part in Town's meteoric rise from rugby league fledglings to League champions and Challenge Cup winners.

We refer of course to the one and only Gus Risman, a Great Britain captain, who when leading Town to Wembley joy in 1952 was the oldest player to appear in a Wembley final at 41 years 29 days.

Gus sadly died four years ago but there to receive his award was his son John, who himself played 212 times for Town between 1970 and 1980.

Johnny Lawrenson
Johnny LawrensonOur second legend of the fifties was another member of Town's Cup winning side at Wembley.

As a strike winger he could rival the best with 110 tries from just 145 appearances for the Cumbrians. His Town career only lasted from 1949-53 but with 73 goals tucked in there for good measure he contributed 476 points to the Workington cause.

In Town's Cup winning season he scored 49 tries in just 43 games and that included two on the hallowed turf of Wembley.

Eppie Gibson
Eppie GibsonThe third member of our fifties sextet who form the decade's legends had joined Workington Town in 1947 from Brookland Rovers.

Eppie was to stay with Town for ten years, earning a reputation as a stylish, penetrative centre whose career total of 145 tries has been bettered by only two players. He played in 335 games for Town, and if you throw in 17 goals and two drop goals that took his career points total to 473.

Billy Ivison
Billy IvisonFew players epitomised Cumbrian rugby and Workington Town's rise to prominence in the game as our fourth legend.

His Town career ran from 1945 to 1959 and in that time he clocked-up 385 appearances, a figure topped by only two other players.

Billy scored 63 tries and kicked eight goals, but he was generally regarded as the best uncapped loose-forward in the game and he won the coveted Lance Todd Trophy in the Wembley triumph.

Billy sadly passed away last year, and his son Brian accepted his award.

Tony Paskins
Still with the Challenge Cup side, another member of that remarkable thirteen who downed Featherstone, is the fifth player to be honoured from this decade.

Tony was a centre who helped himself to 99 tries in his 257 appearances for the club between 1948 and 55. He also put over 71 goals.

Tony has been back on a few occasions since he went back home in 1955 but sadly was unable to attend the evening.

In a message from Down Under, though, he sent his kind regards to everyone at the club, especially those team mates who were attending the evening.

Ces Thompson
Ces ThompsonOne of the great characters of the Town side in the fifties. He played with Town from 1953 to 1960, notching up 195 appearances and scoring 55 tries.

Ces was also capped twice by Great Britain in 1951 when he was a Hunslet player.

John Walsh paid tribute to Cec and told how he was kindly remembered by the late photographer at the Times and Star, Dennis Johnstone for lingering with the ball on the ground over the try line until the disabled Dennis got there to take his picture.

If he was a legend on the field, he was quite a guy off it too for overcoming numerous disadvantages to carve out a successful career for himself in higher education.

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