DOB: 4 July 1877
Died: 15 July 1927
Debut: Round 15, 1898 against Geelong at Corio Oval
Last MFC Game: Round 17, 1901 against Fitzroy at Brunswick Street
From: Brighton (Tasmania)/St Kilda
Premiership Player - 1900
Australian Football Hall of Fame member
150 Heroes selection
Games: 50 (176 total)
Goals: 15 (87 total)
Born in Toorak, Victoria Harold Vivian "Vic" Cumberland moved to Tasmania as a youngster and made his name there, making his senior debut as a 15-year-old. He returned to Victoria in 1898, and intending to join St. Kilda he went to the Junction Oval for a practice match. While there one of the Seasiders junior teams was short of players, and when Cumberland starred for his new side a Melbourne official successfully convinced him to sign for the Redlegs instead.
The 6'2" ruckman formed one of the best ruck combinations in the early days of the league alongside Fred McGinis and George Moodie and was a member of the surprise 1900 premiership side.
After initially being linked with a move to Western Australia, Cumberland attempted to win a clearance to St. Kilda shortly before the 1902 season but was refused and spent the season playing for amateur side Collegians instead. He finally landed at the Junction Oval in 1903 and immediately helped lift the previously disappointing Seasiders up the ladder.
In the middle of 1904 he moved to New Zealand in an attempt to establish Australian Rules Football where he played for the Auckland Imperial Club. He also captain-coached Broken Hill. Returning for two years with the Saints from 1907 he helped lift the club to their first finals appearance before crossing to Adelaide to win a Magarey Medal with Sturt. In 1912 he returned to the VFL again, playing in St Kilda's losing 1913 Grand Final side.
Cumberland joined the army in 1915 and was posted to Europe where he was wounded three times, but managed to return in 1920 to play nine games. The oldest player in VFL/AFL history, Cumberland made his debut before the turn of the century and ended his career - ironically against Melbourne - in a month after his 43rd birthday.
Cumberland died after a long illness in July 1927.
His brother Cecil also played five games in 1899.
ECH Taylor's history of the club says he spent 1902 in Western Australia. While some sources claim he died in a motorbike accident and The Australasian and the Referee both suggest natural causes, but a 2015 article suggests it was natural causes caused by a motorbike accident several months earlier.
Herald - 18/04/1902
Herald - 30/05/1902
Argus - 16/07/1927
Australasian - 23/07/1927
Referee - 27/07/1927
Age - 06/05/2015