AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
Harold Vivian Cumberland
4 July 1877
Place of birth
Toorak, VIC (3142)
15 July 1927 (aged 50)
Place of death
Melbourne, VIC (3000)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 54d
Last game: 43y 48d
Height and weight
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Melbourne; St. Kilda; Sturt
St. Kilda: 6, 4, 15, 31
Melbourne (1903); St. Kilda (1909); Sturt (1912)
State of origin
Hall of fame
Australian Football Hall of Fame (1996)
Cec Cumberland (Brother)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|St. Kilda||V/AFL||1903-1904, 1907-1908, 1912-1915, 1920||126||72||0.57||43%||—||—||—||0|
|V/AFL||1898-1901, 1903-1904, 1907-1908, 1912-1915, 1920||176||87||0.49||45%||—||—||—||0|
|Total||1898-1901, 1903-1904, 1907-1915, 1920||213||120||0.56||—||—||—||—||—|
AFL: 409th player to appear, 891st most games played, 1,230th most goals kickedMelbourne: 59th player to appear, 330th most games played, 349th most goals kickedSt. Kilda: 174th player to appear, 89th most games played, 89th most goals kicked
Playing at a time when football, paradoxically, had a much more universalist flavour than has latterly become the case, the recent emergence of a nominally 'national' competition notwithstanding, Harry Vivian 'Vic' Cumberland epitomised the spirit of his era by eking out an auspicious three decade football career in three Australian states plus New Zealand. When he finally retired from top level football in 1920 he was, at forty-three years of age, the oldest player ever to have appeared in the VFL. He was also, arguably, one of the best.
That said, his greatest achievements came not in Victoria but in South Australia where, during a three-season 39-game career with Sturt as one of 'Dempsey's immigrants', he won the 1911 Magarey Medal and was a member that same year of his adopted state's victorious carnival team.
Born in Toorak, Victoria, Cumberland's early senior football was played across the Bass Strait in Tasmania where he soon caught the eye with his skill, endurance and tremendous marking ability. Between 1898 and 1901 he played 50 games for Melbourne before going on to the first of four separate stints with St Kilda, where all told he participated in a total of 126 premiership matches, including the losing 1913 Challenge Final against Fitzroy. Interspersed between his stints at St Kilda were the periods in New Zealand and South Australia previously alluded to plus time spent abroad on military service during World War One.
Just seven years after retiring as a player Cumberland died tragically in a motorcycle accident.
Author - John Devaney