United Kingdom

Former Leeds and England defender Terry Cooper dies aged 77 

Legendary Leeds defender Terry Cooper has died at the age of 77

Legendary Leeds defender Terry Cooper, part of the 1969 title-winning team and winner of 20 England caps, has died at the age of 77, the club revealed on Saturday night.

'Leeds United is devastated to learn of the passing of Terry Cooper,' said a statement released by Leeds United. 

'Our thoughts are with Terry's family and friends at this difficult time.'

The left back, who drew praise from Pele at the 1970 World Cup finals, where his marauding runs into attack were a forerunner of the modern full back role, also scored the only goal of the 1968 League Cup final, which kicked started the Don Revie glory years at Leeds.

He was then key member of the iconic 1968-69 title winning team and also won the UEFA Fairs' Cup twice, the initial incarnation of today's Europa League. 

Cooper was part of the 1969 Leeds title-winning team and also went on to win 20 England caps

He had turned up at the club on spec as teenager whilst playing for Ferrybridge Amateurs, asked for a trial and earned himself a contract.

Revie famously cited Cooper's greatest-ever match as the 1971 Fairs' Cup final against Juventus, with his forward runs crucial in disrupting the Italian giants game plan, with Leeds winning on away goals.

But a horrific leg fracture in April 1972 in a 3-0 win at Stoke robbed Cooper of two years of his career and an FA Cup winners' medal that year.

At just 27, his athleticism was diminished and he moved on to Middlesbrough in 1975. 

Cooper (front row, second from left) was key to the iconic 1968-69 title winning team and won the UEFA Fairs' Cup twice

He managed at both Bristol City and Rovers, Exeter City and Birmingham City.

Tony Dorigo, left back in the 1992 title wining Leeds side, tweeted on Saturday night: ‘Oh no no no….the wonderful Terry Cooper has passed away - honoured to finally get to meet the great man at the Centenary Celebrations a few years back. RIP TC Folded hands Love and prayers to his family, tough recent times for the #LUFC family. Another absolute legend gone.’

Cooper’s death marks a tragic 15 months for the club and the 1970s legends with Norman Hunter, Trevor Cherry, Jack Charlton and Peter Lorimer having passed away.

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