Paul Gorman made 167 appearances and scored 9 goals in a Brunton Park career that spanned 7 seasons (which included two years with Shrewsbury Town). Usually found in midfield, he also deputised as striker, right back and even at left back if the need arose. Strong and solid in the tackle, he preferred the holding role that gave others the licence to push forward.
Paul was born in Dublin on 6th August 1963 and was spotted, and subsequently approached, by scouts from Highbury as he successfully made a name for himself in local league football. He joined Arsenal as an apprentice and after some success in the reserves went on to make his league debut against Manchester City in March 1982. The game ended as a goal-less draw. Appearances in the first team were limited as the likes of Michael Thomas and David Rocastle rose to the fore and he was released from contract at the end of the 1984 season. He moved to Birmingham City in the July of that year and, after just 6 first team appearances, signed for Bob Stokoe and Carlisle in the March of 1985.
He made his debut on the 8th April 1985 in a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of struggling Wolves with Gorman slotting in to his midfield berth with ease. He never actually played in a winning side as that season drew to a close but the team still managed to avoid the Division Two relegation battle. He did, however, manage to notch his first goal for the club in the final game of the season, a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Oldham ............ at home. They eventually finished the season safe in 16th position. The 1985/86 brought the Stokoe/Robson/Stokoe manager merry-go-round and Paul often found himself starting from the bench or left out altogether as the team strove to avoid relegation yet again. 27 appearances in total for Paul saw him occupy a variety of positions as Carlisle United, in general, looked out of sorts. A poor start to the season under fledgling manager 'Pop' Robson had all but sealed their fate and they were relegated, finishing 20th in the league.
Harry Gregg took over in the 1986/87 season and he too kept faith with Paul Gorman. Paul made 37 appearances but the team again were suffering on the pitch. Only 5 victories before christmas meant that a monumental effort would be needed to avoid a second successive relegation. Things did improve slightly mid-season with Gorman an ever present, but 9 defeats out of the final 12 games brought United the drop once more. 1987/88 was little better for Carlisle fans. Clive Middlemass took the managers reins and was another who liked the potential shown by Gorman. Paul made 41 appearances in total that season, many of which were at right back, and firmly embedded himself as part of the bosses plans for the future. United finished second bottom of Division Four in a season most definitely to be forgotten.
It is probably fair to say that 1988/89 was Paul Gorman's best year with Carlisle United. He played 49 games and made the central midfield spot his own. He also scored 8 goals; the last 8 goals he would score for Carlisle. This included a penalty against Scunthorpe and a hat-trick in a 3-1 away win at Doncaster. Little did he know at the time, but this would become the last hat-trick to be scored by a United player for 7 years. His goal scoring exploits also saw him notch one each in both the FA and League Cup competitions, ensuring he had scored in each of the major campaigns for the club. The new found confidence, not just of Gorman but of the whole team, brought with it a comfortable mid-table 12th position finish.
Paul made just 2 appearances in the 1989/90 season due to injury. As he recovered he was informed that Shrewsbury were interested in signing him and he joined them at the end of November in 1989. After two years at Gay Meadow Clive Middlemas decided to bring him back to Brunton Park in an attempt to revitalise the clubs ever flagging fortunes. He re-signed for United in December 1991 but made just 5 more appearances for the club as pressure mounted on both the manager and the team. Gorman was eventually released in May 1992 and went on to play for Gretna. He could only watch as Carlisle United became the last ever club to finish bottom of Division 4.
Paul Gorman settled locally and often attends Fans Forums and meetings as he continues to follow the club he played for. Guaranteed to give 100% whenever he pulled on the shirt, Gorman would be in there battling even if the team were losing. He showed his true potential during the the 88/89 season in which his effort brought him a regular midfield starting place, and he survived the constant chopping and changing of managers that saw many others fall by the way side. A determined player, Paul Gorman rightfully takes his place in the Heroes section.