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Terry Cooper c.1972
The following career profile appeared in Andrew Mourant (1992) 'Leeds United Player by Player'. Guinness Publishing, London.
"Terry Cooper's career at Elland Road burned a long fuse before it sparked into fulfilment. It took him six years at Leeds to claim a regular first team place and, considering his talents, it seems exttraordinary Don Revie almost sold Cooper quite cheaply to Blackburn Rovers, unsure of how to make the best of him. The trouble was finding a niche for him. Formerly with Wolverhampton Wanderers as a junior, Cooper joined Leeds in 1961as a left-winger but despite good ball control he was insufficiently sharp and unable to shrug off the constant close attentions of defenders. During the next four seasons, Cooper made first team appearances in fits and starts and grew increasingly frustrated with his lot.
Don Revie said it became one of his recurring nightmares that he might have let Cooper go for just £25,000. But Blackburn considered even that modest fee excessive. Eventually a solution was found : in 1967 /68, Terry Cooper asssumed the left-back position in place of Willie Bell, where he would have the advantages of facing play. Yet as a purely defensive left-back, Cooper had his imperfections. He was never exceptionally fast and also vulnerable when being attacked, sometimes dependent on Norman Hunter as extra cover. he was notably left-footed but that was less of a problem, for right-wingers tended to play his stronger side.
All these flaws; yet within three years of becoming a regular, Cooper was playing in the World Cup finals in Mexico and being spoken of as the best left-back anywhere. As much as anything this was down to the exhilarating constructive role he loved to play. A shrewd player - and one with a dry sense of humour - Cooper's footballing brain was there for all to see, exemplified hy his superbly timed and struck passes down the left for Eddie Gray. But Terry Cooper found his own left-winger's instinct irrepressible and was never happier than when overlapping as an extra attacker, crossing balls into the penalty area that caused panic in many defences.
Once it had developed full momentum, Cooper's career became full of extravagant peaks - his beautifully volleyed goal which won Leeds their first major trophy, the League Cup in 1968 - and troughs, worst the broken leg sustained in an away match against Stoke in April 1972 that robbed him not only of an F.A. Cup winners medal, but of games in which to enthrall crowds when at the height of his powers. Cooper's emergence, as much as anything, helped Leeds shuffle off their image as a dour side."
Born : Brotherton, near Castleford, 12 July, 1944.
League appearances :
England appearances :
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The search is on for the whereabouts of Terry Cooper to sign Terry Cooper's tags ! For full details visit Peter Gable's site at Terry Cooper's Stocking Tags - Leeds United. Please email Pete or myself if you know how to contact Terry directly. Good luck Pete !
Peter Gable with Terry Cooper's Tags
See Nigel Mercer's Tribute at Nigel's WebSpace - English Football Cards, Player Pages - Terry Cooper
|Bob Dunning 2 December 2006||
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