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12 years ago
Synonymous with Football, Gump’s Nickname Rooted in Ice


Nicknames are handles usually bestowed upon us by others. Rarely do we ‘nickname’ ourselves, and even more rarely do they stick.

But Robert May is a unique individual. And apparently that fact was true at a young age as well.

May, Palmyra’s assistant football coach and the former head man at Hershey High School, came up with a nickname for himself while a student at Milton Hershey school. While it’s a bit unusual, it’s been with him ever since.

“They called my older brother ‘Fish,'” explained May. “At Milton Hershey, everybody had a nickname. They called me ‘Little Eel’, ‘Minnow’, ‘Little Fish’. And I hated it.”

So as he’s been known to do, May took matters into his own hands.

“I was playing ice hockey and I was a goalie,” said May. “I got to play a lot. And one of the most popular goalies at the time was Gump (John of the Montreal Canadiens) Worsley. So I said my nickname is going to be ‘Gump’.”

May’s nickname took on a life of it’s own, so much so that some people think ‘Gump’ is his God-given name or don’t know that it’s Bob.

“So I made my own nickname,” said May. “When I went to college that’s all they called me. It stuck!”


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