John Cumming (footballer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Cumming
Personal information
Full name John Cumming
Date of birth (1930-03-17)17 March 1930
Place of birth Carluke, Scotland
Date of death 6 December 2008(2008-12-06) (aged 78)
Place of death Carluke, Scotland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Wing half
Youth career
Carluke Rovers
1948–1950 Heart of Midlothian
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1950–1967 Heart of Midlothian 359 (36)
National team
1954–1957 Scotland B[1] 2 (1)
1955–1960 Scottish League XI 7 (1)
1954–1960 Scotland 9 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Cumming (17 March 1930 – 6 December 2008) was a Scottish footballer, who spent his whole club career with Heart of Midlothian. He made 612 appearances and scored 58 goals for Hearts, and helped them win every major honour in Scottish football. Cumming also represented Scotland and the Scottish League.

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Cumming signed for Hearts on provisional forms by the then manager, Dave McLean. At the time Cumming was employed as a pit worker and playing junior league football for Carluke Rovers. Cumming signed fully for Hearts in January 1950. He was quickly dubbed the "Iron Man" for his fearless and resolute tackling. His versatility seen him play at either wing-half or left-back. He even appeared as a goalkeeper for one reserve match.

Dave Mackay had previously been on schoolboy terms at Hearts. Mackay joined the club's pro ranks in 1951. Cumming and Mackay became the duo who made that team tick for the remainder of the 1950s. "He never had a bad game. It was either a fairly good game or an excellent game," said Mackay of Cumming.

Cumming is the most decorated player in Hearts' history, having played throughout the club's most successful era. In nine seasons from 1954 to 1963 Hearts won seven trophies.[2] He won two league championship medals, one Scottish Cup medal and four Scottish League Cup medals.[2]

His commitment to the team is typified by his quote now displayed above the entrance to the players tunnel at Tynecastle: "Blood doesn't show on a maroon jersey". This was said after Cumming had blood streaming from a head injury in a clash with Willie Fernie in the 1956 Scottish Cup Final. He returned to the playing field in the 3-1 win against Celtic. Cumming was man of the match. Despite his commitment he retained control of his temper and was never booked in his career. He was the only player to collect medals for all seven of the trophies Hearts won in this period.

Cumming retired from playing in 1967. He was a trainer at Hearts for a decade after ending his playing days and later returned to work in the steel industry. Cumming remained a regular at Hearts games until illness confined him to a nursing home.


Cumming played nine times for Scotland,[2] with his senior caps coming in two distinct spells. The first cap was a defeat at home to the 'Magical Magyars' era Hungary team in December 1954. This was a few weeks after Cumming won his first major trophy, and represented the first of four caps between December 1954 and May 1955. He then gained five further caps between April and June 1960, when his second league-winning campaign reached its conclusion.

He also represented the Scottish League XI.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Cumming and his wife Jean had a daughter, Jean, a son, James, and five grandchildren. He died on 6 December 2008.[4]

The John Cumming Stadium in his home town of Carluke is named in his honour.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Hearts great Cumming passes away". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Murray, Ewan (16 December 2008). "John Cumming". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
  5. ^ Carluke stadium named after Hearts hero John Cumming

External links[edit]