Cooper, Terry

Birth Date

12th July 1944

Birthplace

Brotherton

Occupation

Manager

Biographical Text

Whilst with Bristol City in October 1983, Terry Cooper became the Football League’s first player-director this century. Contrary to popular belief, this was not the happiest period of his career, for Cooper is a player’s man. That is not to say that he does not criticise players when they deserve it, for he is a blunt Yorkshireman who has proved to be a great motivator.

Born near Castleford on 12 July 1944, Terry Cooper made his name with Leeds United, where he became a star full-back at the time when the club was one of the most powerful in the land. Unfortunately, his England career was shattered when he broke a leg in 1972 and had to settle for 20 international appearances and 350 senior games played for United, including three UEFA Cup Finals.

Following on from this, in 1980 he became player-manager of Bristol Rovers, before moving to on to manage Bristol City in 1982. Surprisingly, he was dismissed in 1988 after steering Bristol City up into the third division.
Although Cooper did not apply for the Exeter City vacancy, fortunately for the club, he accepted their invitation to become team-manager. Essentially, in less than two years, he turned City into aFourth Division championship-winning side in 1990. On the contrary, a year after his major success with the Grecians, he moved to Birmingham City.

Cooper, however, had another brief spell with City in 1994. Unfortunately, he joined the team to keep them in Division Two. It wasn’t long before the club went into receivership and despite surviving liquidation, it finished bottom of the Football League in 1994-95. What is more, Exeter only held on to their league status because Macclesfield Town did not meet the league's stadium capacity requirements. Cooper was then replaced by Peter Fox and has not returned to management. He spent 11 years as Southampton’s chief European scout before retiring in 2007.

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