Tuesday, December 4 – 1934
The departure of Tommy Cooper to Liverpool which was announced in last night’s “Telegraph,” has been received with mixed feelings by Derby County supporters, but I am certain that everybody will join me in wishing him the best of luck with his new club.
In future we may still read of Cooper as the best right back in England, but no longer shall we see that fair head, to which we have grown so accustomed, bobbing up and down immediately in front of the Ram’s goal.
The wrench is a sad one of the spectators, but it is equally sad for the club and player. But there can be no sentiment in football and with Derby County, as with other clubs, there comes a time when it is to the mutual benefit of both club and player to part.
A Sad Parting
While the supporters deeply regret Cooper’s departure, it must be remembered that he has always held a warm place in the hearts of the officials of the club, who, since he came to Derby from Port Vale in March, 1926, have, helped him to rise from “a very promising junior” to the pinnacle of the football world.
I am not going to discus the wisdom, or folly, of Derby County’s policy. Time alone will tell whether they have acted wisely. I should say, however, that there are only three clubs in the country who would not have “fallen” for such a temptation.
The two clubs have not divulged the exact amount paid for Cooper, but I do not think I shall be wrong in stating that the fee received by Derby County is about £8,000. At any rate, the fee is a record for both clubs. Last season Liverpool paid £6,500 for Blenkinsop, the Sheffield Wednesday back.
Now I can tell you the inside story of the transfer. In the first place, let me mention that Stoke City were interested last week, but they faded into the background immediately they were told that Derby County had received an offer of £7,500 from another club.
Watched On Saturday.
Last Saturday, I saw the chairman of the Liverpool club at Leeds. Naturally, he was not impressed with Cooper’s display against the United, but he knew that England’s captain was capable f far greater things. So the Liverpool official returned home to discuss the matter with his board of directors.
As a result of their talk, Mr. G.S. Patterson , the Liverpool manager, arrived in Derby at 7.30 on Monday evening, and within about an hour or so, the two clubs had come to terms.
It then remained for Tommy Cooper to agree. The Rams’ back, however, was not very anxious to join Liverpool and when I met Mr. Patterson and Mr. George Jobey shortly before midnight, they informed me that Cooper would not sign, and that negotiations had broken down.
Mr. Patterson told me that he was very disappointed, but he had not given up hope. He intended to resume negotiations next morning.
The Liverpool manager was at the ground early yesterday morning, but it was not till five o’clock in the evening that Cooper actually agreed to sign on for them.
Meanwhile Wolverhampton Wanderers were anxiously waiting to hear the decision. Major Frank Buckley had stated his terms on the Monday, but Liverpool stepped in first. The Wolves’ manager kept in touch with Derby County throughout the day, hoping that negotiations with the other club would break down.
Derby County, of course, could not tell him the name of the club interested. The rules of the Football Association prohibit them from divulging such information.
It was a very trying time for the Wolves, and, in the end, a very disappointing one. I do not know what fee they were prepared to pay, but I should imagine it would be as big as the amount offered by Liverpool.
I understand that last week they offered something like £6,500. It would appear, therefore, that the directors of the club had agreed to increase this amount. Otherwise they would not have taken such a keen interest in yesterday’s proceedings.
Last week it was rumoured that Stoke City were trying to induce Derby County to make an exchange. It was suggested that they were prepared to pay so much and allow Soo, an inside forward to come to Derby in part exchange. I can assure you that it was nothing more than a rumour.
Came In 1926.
As I stated last night, Cooper joined Derby County from Port Vale in March 1926. Including Continental matches he has been “capped” on 14 occasions, and he has captained England this season.
Below is a complete list of Cooper’s appearances with Derby County.
1925/26, 5 League matches, 0 Cup matches.
1926/27, 25 League matches, 0 Cup matches.
1927/28, 13 League matches, 0 Cup matches.
1928/29, 28 League matches, 3 Cup matches.
1929/30, 17 League matches, 1 Cup match.
1930/31, 42 League matches, 1 Cup match.
1931/32, 33 League matches, 3 Cup matches.
1932/33, 36 League matches, 6 Cup matches.
1933/34, 32 League matches, 4 Cup matches.
1934/35, 16 League matches, 0 Cup matches.
It will be noticed that in 1927/28 and 1929/30 he made only a few appearances. This was due to the fact that in the first season he had a cartilage removed from his left knee, and in 1929/30 he had a similar operation on his right knee.
Tommy will remain in Derby till Friday afternoon, when he will journey to London for Liverpool’s match with Chelsea.
(Derby Daily Telegraph, 05-12-1935)