Vic Cumberland

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Vic Cumberland
Vic Cumberland (before 1901).jpg
Personal information
Full name Harry Vivian Cumberland
Date of birth (1877-07-04)4 July 1877
Place of birth Tasmania
Date of death 15 July 1927(1927-07-15) (aged 50)
Original team(s) Brighton (Tasmania)
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 86.5 kg (191 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1898–1901 Melbourne 50 (15)
1903–1904 St Kilda 26 (20)
1905–1906 Auckland Imperial 32
1907–1908 St Kilda 28 (20)
1909–1911 Sturt 39 (33)
1912–1915, 1920 St Kilda 72 (32)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
Victoria 3 (3)
South Australia 9
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1920.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Harold Vivian "Vic" Cumberland (4 July 1877 – 15 July 1927), also known as Harry Cumberland,[1] was an Australian rules footballer in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).

The youngest son of Perrygring and Lillian Cumberland,[2] he was born in Tasmania, on 4 July 1877. His older, much taller and much heavier brother, Cec Cumberland, played five senior VFL games for Melbourne in 1899 alongside Vic — and, due his brother's size, weight, and seniority, Vic was often referred to as "Little" Cumberland.[3]

Initially playing senior football in Tasmania, Cumberland returned to Victoria and played with VFL club Melbourne from 1898 to 1901. Later he had several periods at rival VFL club St Kilda, starting in 1903. In 1905 and 1906 Cumberland spent time in New Zealand and played for the Auckland Imperial Football Club in the Australian Football League of Auckland.

After returning to Australia and another stint with St Kilda, Cumberland moved to South Australia in 1909 to play with SANFL club Sturt, winning the league's Magarey Medal award as the fairest and most brilliant in 1911, his final year with the club.[3]

Although only 182 cm, Cumberland was immensely strong and a natural running ruckman. He was a strong mark and an excellent long kick, especially renowned for his place-kicks, with the skill to grab the ball from the ruck and handpass to a team-mate.[4]

Cumberland was — and still is to this day — the oldest player to ever play VFL football; he was 43 years of age when he retired.[5] He went to World War I (First AIF Service Number 2886) and was wounded three times.[4]

In 1927, Cumberland was involved in an accident when he was riding his motorbike in Ferntree Gully, Victoria and hit a cow. He died in hospital several months later, on 15 July 1927.[6]


  1. ^ Ross (1996), has him as "Vic Cumberland" at pp.41, 58, 59, 64, 82, 83, 104; yet, on pp.125, he has him as "Harry Cumberland" — and the entire set of pages is indexed on p.374 under "Harry Cumberland". Also see Full Points Footy Biography: Harry Cumberland where he is listed as "Harry Cumberland".
  2. ^ Deaths: Cumberland, The Argus, (Saturday, 16 July 1927), p.13.
  3. ^ a b Harry Cumberland Dead: Great Sturt Footballer: Widespread Tributes, (Adelaide) News, (Friday, 22 July 1927), p.4.
  4. ^ a b Ross, (1999), p.56.
  5. ^ Hanlon, Peter. "Vic Cumberland, the footballer who proved there's life after 40". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Footballer's Death, The Argus, (Saturday, 16 July 1927), p.31.


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