Alf Mumberson dies, aged 78

Date published: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
ALF Mumberson, Oldham RL Club’s popular prop of the early 1960s, has died in Cumbria of a heart attack at the age of 78.
He lived in Maryport, but died while visiting his daughter Lynn and family at their home in nearby Workington. He was taken ill suddenly and died in the ambulance while being taken to hospital.
He played rugby union for Aspatria and rugby league for Broughton Moor before turning pro for Oldham during the 1959-60 season.
In a Watersheddings career spanning seven years, he made 92 first-team appearances, scoring ten tries, before transferring to Whitehaven in 1967 in a player-swop deal that brought his fellow Cumbrian Charlie McCourt in the opposite direction.
Mumberson’s best season at Oldham was in 1962-63 when he played 39 times, second only to hooker Len McIntyre on 40.
In September, 1964 he represented Cumberland at open-side prop in a 13-11 win against Lancashire at Blackpool.
Four of his Oldham team mates were in the Lancashire side — John Donovan at centre, McIntyre at hooker and Dave Parker and Harry Major in the second-row.
Two former Oldham players, loose-forward John Rae and winger Ike Southward, were also in the Cumberland line-up.
A member of Oldham’s Players’ Association, he leaves his wife Isobel, daughter Lynn, son Austin and four grandchildren.
Family friend Cliff Hodgson, ex-Workington player, referee and now an RFL match commissioner, said: “Alf was a good rugby player and a man who throughout his life was liked and hugely respected by everyone who knew him.
“He always spoke fondly of his years in Oldham — he lived in Turf Lane, Heyside, where Lynn was born — and all the great times he enjoyed at Watersheddings.”
Funeral arrangements are not yet known.