Coop de Grace
By Calum on Feb 24, 2005
Nice touch from the SFL to commemorate the untimely death of Davie Cooper at next month's League Cup Final between Motherwell and Rangers-- two of the three teams he played for, and ten years to the week since he collapsed and died of a brain haemorrage on the training pitch at the age of 39. Coop was probably the last true Scottish football great, and certainly the most outrageously talented player ever to grace a Motherwell shirt in my lifetime. (Reputedly, while playing in an Old Firm match for Rangers, he stuck the ball down on the penalty spot in front of the Celtic fans during the pre-match warmup, strode up to it confidently and, with unusual inaccuracy, hit the crossbar with his attempted conversion. While the Celtic fans were going wild with glee, he retrieved the ball, put it back on the penalty spot, and proceeded to hit the crossbar with pinpoint accuracy another three times in succession. Apocryphal or not, it's exactly the sort of thing he could have done...)
He was born and lived not far from me (well, before I left home anyway)... in his amateur days, he played for a team coached by my French teacher, and his funeral was held at my local church-- quite an event in itself for an unassuming wee place, with the streets around lined with fans of many Scottish teams, and the mourners including the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, and current Scotland coach Walter Smith -- how he could do with another Davie Cooper these days.