The Stacey West XI – Midfielders (Pt3)

Bob Cumming

Robert “Bobby” Cumming was a combative defender and midfielder who spent the majority of his career at Grimsby Town. That would usually be a good route into the Lincoln City all-time XI. He was remembered there for his hard-core tackling, back when tackling was real and brutal. There were no pleasantries when Bob Cumming went in on you, you knew you’d been hit.

He joined us in 1987 immediately after relegation to the GMVC. He was 32-years old, still able to hack it on the pitch and still every bit as hard as he always was. 1987 wasn’t a good year for Lincoln fans, certainly not the first half of it, but when this man walked through the door the future got an awful lot brighter.

He was an integral part of our Conference winning team, displaying not just that ferocious tackling but a calm influence in the centre of the park. It was a highly provocative season where opponents wanted us beaten in any way possible, but though both style and aggression, Cumming led us through those dark days. Trevor Matthewson was the on-field captain, but Cumming’s influence was very father-like towards the players.

Matthewson lifted the GMVC trophy, the fans rewarded Bobby Cumming by voting him as the player of the season.

He spent the summer in upstate New York playing for Albany Capitals before returning to make his Football league debut in our return game against Hartlepool. He went on to enjoy another two seasons with the Imps in the Football League, making 40 appearances and scoring five goals. His Imps career ended when he collected an ankle injury in November 1989 as we beat a team called Billingham Synthonia in the first round of the FA Cup.

In 2007, he was recently voted 23rd in the top 100 Lincoln City league legends. Not bad for a former Grimsby icon.

He emigrated to America in 1990, settling in Kendallville, Indiana and playing when his injury allowed for the local side.