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Terry Cooper
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Personal information
Full name Terence Cooper
Date of birth 12 July 1944 (1944-07-12) (age 65)
Place of birth    Knottingley, England
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current club Southampton (scout)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1962–1975
1975–1978
1978–1980
1980–1981
1981–1982
1982–1984
Leeds United
Middlesbrough
Bristol City
Bristol Rovers
Doncaster Rovers
Bristol City
250 (7)
105 (1)
011 (0)
050 (0)
020 (0)
060 (1)   
National team
1969–1974 England 020 (0)
Teams managed
1980–1981
1982–1988
1988–1991
1991–1993
1994–1995
Bristol Rovers
Bristol City
Exeter City
Birmingham City
Exeter City

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Terence "Terry" Cooper (born 12 July 1944) is an English former football player and manager born in Knottingley, Yorkshire, England. He was a classy and highly-rated full back in the great Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s.

Cooper wasn't discovered as a young player in the conventional manner - he simply turned up at Leeds United one day with his football boots in a paper bag, asking for a trial. He was granted his wish and impressed enough to be offered an apprentice contract.

Initially a left winger, Cooper was converted to a defensive role by Leeds boss Don Revie on signing at the age of 17. He made gradual progress in the first team over the next six years until Revie decided to make him the permanent No.3 in 1966.

Cooper settled in thereafter and became a full back of innovation, showing that the right levels of fitness and an ability to cross the ball meant he could overlap down the flank to support winger Eddie Gray.

In 1968, Leeds won the League Cup against Arsenal at Wembley. A bitty and occasionally high-tempered match was settled by Cooper's superb volley after a corner had been half-cleared, although Arsenal claimed their goalkeeper had been fouled by central defender Jack Charlton. Cooper subsequently featured in the team which won the Fairs Cup in the same season.

In 1969, Leeds won the League championship with Cooper making his contribution. Revie didn't buy a back-up left back but instead used the utility player Paul Madeley to replace Cooper in the event of injury or suspension - a sure sign that Cooper was the finished article. This was further proved when he was given his debut for England by Alf Ramsey against France the same year, and England won 5-0 with Cooper putting on a classy individual showing.

Leeds chased three trophies in 1970 but lost the championship by nine points to Everton, and went out of the European Cup to Celtic in the semi-finals. Cooper played a full role in these near-misses, and also featured in the FA Cup final against Chelsea which Leeds lost 2-1 after a replay. That summer, however, Cooper gained personal redemption with a superb series of performances as England's first choice left back at the World Cup in Mexico, which ended with defeat in the quarter-finals to West Germany.

Leeds won the Fairs Cup again in 1971 but missed out on the League on the last day again and went out of the FA Cup in one of the competition's greatest giant-killing acts. Lowly Colchester United beat Leeds 3-2 in the fifth round. One consolation for Cooper on a personal level was that this was his best season for appearances, missing just one League game all season.

He seemed set to follow suit the next season as Leeds again chased League and FA Cup honours, but then suffered an horrific broken leg in April 1972 during a League game at Stoke City. Aside from missing that season's FA Cup final victory over Arsenal, Cooper missed a whole 20 months of football and saw his England career die as a result, such were the complications of the injury. Revie, unable to use Madeley who was already deputising as a central defender due to Charlton's retirement, bought Trevor Cherry in the summer of 1972 as a replacement. Cooper also missed the 1973 FA Cup final defeat to Sunderland and the European Cup Winners Cup final loss to A.C. Milan. When he did come back, it was with just one appearance in the 1974 season, thereby missing out on a League championship medal - Leeds won it at a canter with a 29-match unbeaten start - due to a lack of games.

Cooper's Leeds career was pretty much over by the time he regained his fitness. The departure of Revie for the England job in 1974 and the emergence over the next season of Frank Gray, younger brother of Eddie, as well as the presence of Cherry, rendered Cooper surplus to requirements. He left the club before the ageing Revie team played out its last hurrah - the 1975 European Cup final, which they lost to Bayern Munich - and joined Middlesbrough who were managed by ex-team mate Charlton.

Cooper's longevity in his veteran years was impressive considering his long period of absence through injury, and after a healthy three years with Middlesbrough, he moved on to Bristol City for a year, before becoming player-manager of rivals Bristol Rovers. He subsequently assisted and played for his former Leeds skipper Billy Bremner at Doncaster Rovers, and had a second spell playing for and managing Bristol City. His management career also took in a period at the helm of Birmingham City sandwiched between two spells at Exeter City.

His first spell at Exeter yielded the Fourth Division title in 1990, and he moved to Birmingham City the following year, achieving promotion from the Third Division in his first season at the helm. He resigned as Birmingham manager in December 1993[1] and returned to Exeter later that season, although too late to keep them in Division Two. The club then went into receivership and despite surviving liquidation, the club finished bottom of the Football League in 1994-95 and 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 now scouts for players for Southampton.

Cooper's son Mark became a footballer in the late 1980s, enjoying a worthy career in the lower echelons of the professional game. He is now also a manager.

References

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