Cook Fred Image 2 Portsmouth 1930

Cook Fred Image 2 Portsmouth 1930


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Aberdare, Rhondda Valley born outside left Fred Cook began his football career began his football career with junior club Albions, from where he joined Third Division (South) hometown club Aberdare Athletic, making his Football League debut at Brighton & Hove Albion in December 1922, scoring in his second match in a 5-4 defeat at Swindon Town. He joined Newport County in May 1923 and was an ever present for The Exiles in his debut season for them, missing only two matches as they finished sixth in the division in 1924-25. His form led to him being called in to the Wales side for his international debut, which came in a defeat to Scotland at Tynecastle in February 1925, the first of 8 caps for his country through to November 1931, when he appeared in Wales’ defeat to England at Anfield.

After interest from several leading clubs, and 8 goals in 127 appearances for Newport County, he was sold to Second Division club Portsmouth at the end of April 1925 and scored on his debut in a win over Chelsea on 1st May, and the following season he was an ever present for Pompey as they gained promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history, finishing as Second Division runners up. He then scored in their first top flight match, a 3-3 draw at Sunderland the following August, and scored a career best 10 goals in their maiden First Division campaign, missing only one match, before again being an ever present in 1928-29, when he helped Portsmouth to reach the FA Cup Final at Wembley, where they were beaten 2-0 by Bolton Wanderers in the Final.

He remained a near ever present for three more seasons including missing only two matches as Pompey finished fourth in the League Championship in 1930-31, but lost his place after four matches at the start of the 1932-33 campaign and never played for Portsmouth again, having scored 42 goals in 268 appearances. In 1934, after an unsuccessful trial at Southampton, he joined Irish League club Waterford, his final club before his eventual retirement.

NB in the image he appears with Portsmouth team mates Jimmy Easson, Bob Kearney and David Thackeray.


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