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Hartlepool chairman dismisses costume controversy

Hartlepool fans plan to dress up as reggae star Bob Marley Credit: PA

The controversy over Hartlepool United's visit to Brunton Park on Saturday has been blown out of proportion, according to the club's chairman.

Football equality campaigners Kick It Out warned fans over their plan to attend this Saturday's League Two game at Carlisle in Bob Marley-themed costumes.

But club chairman Russ Green says the away supporters are not planning to "black up" as some had feared.

It is a fantastic, celebratory event.

"Bob Marley was a big football fan - there was nothing derogatory or wrong with it I don't think.

"I think it is great. It is all about a good day out and I just think sometimes some of these things are taken out of proportion."

– Russ Green, Chief Executive of Hartlepool United

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Reggae theme for Hartlepool's visit to Brunton Park

Hartlepool fans plan to dress up as reggae star Bob Marley Credit: PA

Hartlepool fans' tradition of dressing up for the last away game of the season has caused some concern for Carlisle United.

Hundreds of supporters of the north-east side are expected to don Bob Marley costumes at Brunton Park a week on Saturday.

It's the latest in a running tradition of fancy dress ideas, with previous years' themes including the Thunderbirds and the Smurfs.

Hartlepool fans dressed as Smurfs at an end-of-season match Credit: PA

But the Blues have said they are seeking advice from Kick It Out, football's anti-discrimination organisation, over concerns some fans could "black-up" as part of their efforts.

Carlisle United Manager Keith Curle has said he has concerns about the health and safety implications, but isn't personally worried about the racial connotations of the costumes.

Carlisle United look for strong end to season

Their League Two status may have been secured, but Keith Curle insists Carlisle United won't be resting on their laurels.

He says they'll be looking to finish the season on a high - particularly as yesterday marked the twentieth anniversary of the day the Blues made their debut at the old Wembley Stadium.

Those heady days are a reminder that there's still plenty of work to do, to get United back to their best:

Carlisle at Wembley: your memories

You've been sharing your memories of Carlisle's first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1995.

Here's a few of them:

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Throwback Thursday: watch CUFC's 1995 Wembley debut

Twenty years ago today, Carlisle United played at Wembley for the first time.

Dressed in their infamous 'deckchair' away strip, the Blues lost 1-0 to Birmingham City in the Auto Windscreen Shields Final at the old Wembley Stadium.

Take a trip down memory lane and relive the highs and lows with our 1995 match report.

Twentieth anniversary of Carlisle United's Wembley debut

The Blues took on Birmingham City in 1995.

Today is the twentieth anniversary of Carlisle United's first ever game at Wembley.

On 23 April, 1995, the Blues took on Birmingham City under the twin towers of the old Wembley stadium in the Auto Windscreen Shields Final.

They lost 1-0 on that day, but went on to win the competition at the same venue in 1997 and 2011.

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