Cock Donald Image 1 Notts County 1923

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Description

Hayle, Cornwall born centre forward Donald Cock will perhaps always be remembered primarily as Jack Cock’s younger brother, Jack being the first Cornishman ever to play for England. But his football career, while not as glorious, was still a notable one. Cock started his career playing with Camborne Boys Brigade in 1913 and Gwynne’s Foundry in 1914 before joining Brentford where he played wartime football from 1915, and on the resumption of peacetime football he signed for Fulham in May 1919, making his Football League debut at South Shields in September 1919. Although he didn’t score on his debut he then scored eleven goals in the next 5 games to announce himself to the football world, including a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Leicester City at Craven Cottage. His return of 25 goals in 35 games that season proved the best of his career, and he moved to Notts County in October 1922 after 44 goals in 94 games for The Cottagers.

His performances at Notts County over the next two and a half years were eye catching whilst perhaps not goal filled as per his six game opening blitz in 1919, but having scored 34 goals in 92 appearances for The Magpies and helped them win the Second Division Championship in 1923, Arsenal manager Leslie Knighton spent £4,000 to bring him to Highbury in March 1925, a considerable fee and a measure of how good he actually was. He made his Gunners debut against Bolton and unluckily broke his leg a week later at Notts County. He had recovered by the start of the new season and played one more match for Arsenal against Tottenham in August under new manager Herbert Chapman, but by October he’d been sold to Clapton Orient for £1,500.

At Orient he played two full seasons in a struggling team but still managed to score 31 goals in 70 matches, including a hat-trick against Stoke in March 1926, and he was the club’s top scorer both seasons at Millfields Road before he finished his career with a brief spell at Wolves (a goal in only 3 games in the first half of 1927-28) and a game-less spell at Newport County the same season. He retired from professional football, aged 31, soon after.

In addition to his brother Jack, who played for Chelsea, Everton and Plymouth Argyle among other clubs, a third brother, Herbert, also played once for Brentford.

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