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The Independent Online
Aston Villa's League Cup tradition brought goalkeeper Jim Cumbes his finest moment as a footballer, keeping a clean sheet as Villa defeated Norwich at Wembley in 1975, a final best remembered for the heriocs of Cumbes' opposite number, Kevin Keelan.

''I had Phil Boyer and Ted MacDougall lined up against me but I didn't have to make a save in anger,'' Cumbes recalled. Ray Graydon scored the only goal - and that on the rebound after Keelan parried his penalty.

It completed an unusual double for Cumbes, footballer and cricketer, who had been part of Worcestershire's Championship-winning side in 1974. Alongside a football career with Tranmere, West Bromwich and Villa, he bowled fast-medium for Lancashire, Surrey, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

''Managers were more tolerant then of people combining two sports but football, by and large, came first,'' he said.

Having quit football in 1976, he retired from cricket in 1982 after being made commercial manager by Warwickshire. In 1987 he returned to Lancashire, his native county, where he now heads the sales and marketing force. ''Although I'm back home now, it was a wrench to leave the Midlands, where I'd been for 19 years and had most of my friends and contacts.''

Now 51, he lives in Bowdon, Cheshire with his wife, Liz, and children Hannah, 13, and James, 11.

Jon Culley