From Despair to Delirium: A Chronicle of Carlisle United’s Unbelievable Resurgence…

The incredible resurgence of Carlisle United under the management of Paul Simpson has been chronicled in a new book titled ‘From Despair to Delirium.’ The author, Howard Falshaw, a devoted supporter and former teacher, reflects on the unexpected and thrilling journey of the football club from 2021 to 2023.

Howard, who had been expressing his passion for Carlisle through regular blog posts during his retirement, found the inspiration to turn his musings into a book. The title, born out of the team’s remarkable turnaround, perfectly encapsulates the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by fans during this period.

The book provides a detailed, game-by-game diary of Carlisle’s fortunes, with Howard’s entries capturing the raw emotions and reactions in the moment, unvarnished by hindsight. From the team’s decline under Chris Beech to the nadir against Swindon Town, Howard’s writing reflects the despair that fueled his commitment to documenting the journey.

While Howard doesn’t shy away from sharp criticism, such as his unfavorable view of director of football David Holdsworth, he also acknowledges the pivotal moments that led to the team’s transformation. The January recruitment by Keith Millen and the subsequent impact of Paul Simpson played a crucial role in turning the tide.

Survival achieved, the 2022/23 season saw Carlisle’s momentum surge, with Simpson leading the team on a promotion challenge. Howard’s entries convey the excitement and joy of witnessing memorable moments like last-minute winners and the team’s journey towards the playoffs.

The book not only captures the on-field drama but also delves into the author’s deep connection with the club, comparing the recent resurgence to historic moments in Carlisle’s history, such as the First Division season in 1974/75. Howard draws on personal experiences, including encounters with legendary players like Chris Balderstone, whose match-worn shirt holds special significance for him.

The narrative of the book extends beyond the pitch, touching on the challenges faced by the club off the field, including the Piatak takeover. Howard expresses optimism about the future, believing that the positive changes witnessed on the pitch under Simpson’s leadership may extend to resolving longstanding issues off the field.

‘From Despair to Delirium’ not only captures the highs and lows of Carlisle United’s recent history but also serves as a testament to the enduring passion of devoted fans. Howard’s writing reflects the unique blend of emotions that come with supporting a football club, making the book a compelling read for fans and football enthusiasts alike.

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