The man who could do the unthinkable and make you dream with his left foot, Davie Cooper truly was one of a kind. He’s one of the greatest players to grace the Scottish game and opposition defenders trembled when they seen ‘Super Cooper’ fly towards them.
He is remembered fondly by everyone who seen him grace a football park, most notably at Clydebank, Motherwell and Rangers, where he made history with the three clubs. The mercurial winger had humble beginnings with Clydebank and his stock rose from there.
Anybody who seen Cooper play for the Bankies knew he was destined for greatness. It was to be his boyhood club Rangers who snapped him up for just £100,000. Teams have paid exuberant amounts for less than half the talent in today’s market.
At Rangers he did some things that left fans, managers and players alike dumbfounded. His goal in the 1979 Drybrough cup against Celtic was a piece of Cooper magic. With his back to goal he did keepie-uppies, beat four Celtic defenders, before putting the ball into the net.
With 75 goals in 540 appearances for the Ibrox club, Cooper cemented himself as one of Scotland’s greats. More success was still to come though as the winger made his way to North Lanarkshire with Motherwell.
Left foot wizard
Cooper played over 150 times for the Fir Park side and he brought his magic to Motherwell. He cost the North Lanarkshire £50,000 and is one of the best Motherwell players of the modern era.
Again he became a menace to defenders nationwide. Step-overs, quick feet and goal scoring ability, he showed at Fir Park once again why he is one of the greatest. His quick movement against Dundee United in October 1989 earned 10 man Motherwell a penalty, which he took and scored. It was a glimpse of what was to come during his stint in claret and amber.
Two years later Cooper would stun the Tangerines in Motherwell’s iconic 4-3 Scottish Cup win over the Tannadice side. He was instrumental in one of the greatest cup finals in Scottish footballing history, allowing Cooper to add another medal to his already glistening trophy cabinet.
His final two years were spent with Clydebank, which was a fairy tale ending for the winger. He took on playing duties whilst training to be a coach with the Bankies as he wound down his playing days with the side who gave him a platform to showcase himself.
Cooper is one of a kind
Whilst starring at club level, Cooper is a Scotland legend who is well remembered by the Tartan Army. His left foot strike against Wales sent Scotland on the road to 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
He then scored in the play-off against Australia and featured twice at the World Cup. In total he made 22 appearances with six goals for the national side, where Cooper dazzled as brightly as he had done in domestic action.
Sadly, Cooper was taken before his time, when he suffered a brain haemorrhage whilst filming at Broadwood Stadium for a programme called Shoot for STV. It’s both fitting and ironic he played the game he loved right up until the end of his life.
Cooper is one of the best players in the history of Clydebank, Motherwell and Rangers. He had a statue built in Hamilton in his honour, was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame and has a stand named after him at Fir Park.
Those who seen the winger play are lucky enough to have witnessed such a player that won’t be seen very often in today’s game. He had everything you would want in a footballer, from his personality, to his technical ability.
It was once said God gave Cooper a talent. Very few people would be able to argue this isn’t the case.