May 04, 1944, East Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
Jim Cumbes was one of the last of the genuine old-fashioned sportsman, playing professional cricket in the summer and football in the winter.
As a goalkeeper, he started at Runcorn before moving on to play for Aston Villa, Tranmere, WBA and Coventry as well as a spell with Portland Timbers in the USA. His most successful period came with Villa, helping them to promotion to the old first division and also victory in the League Cup.
He was equally well travelled in his cricket career, starting with Lancashire before a brief spell with Surrey. In 1971 he moved back to Old Trafford with little success, and in 1972 he moved to Worcestershire, where he enjoyed his best period, before finishing with a season in 1982 at Warwickshire.
Even though his career stretched to two decades, his football commitments limited his availability and he was only able to command a regular place with his fast-medium seam bowling in his two seasons at The Oval (1968-69) and again at Worcester between 1977 and 1979.
Indeed, his first two years with Surrey were his most successful, and in 1968 he took 54 wickets at 17.68, by far his best summer. But he failed to appear in anything other than a couple of one-dayers in 1969 and 1970, leading to his move. As his career developed he became a dependable one-day player, although his batting was a major handicap (he never passed fifty).
Cumbes remained close to the game and became Warwickshire's commercial manager the season after he retired before moving back to his native Lancashire in 1987 to become their sales and marketing manager.
In 1998 he was appointed chief executive at Old Trafford and helped drive through the ground redevelopment. He retired at the end of 2012 bringing to an end a 50-year career in professional sport.
Batting & Fielding