Sneinton, Nottingham born goalkeeper Jack Cooper (he was born Jack Holloway) began his football career with Sutton Town before joining Second Division Barnsley in the 1908 close season, making his Football League debut against Clapton Orient on Boxing Day 1908, making 7 appearances in his debut season as understudy to Tommy Thorpe, taking over the gloves in September 1909. However he didn’t play in Barnsley’s 1910 FA Cup Final appearance when Fred Mearns was preferred.
Having missed the 1910-11 season in its entirety he returned in November 1911 and went on the odyssey that would culminate in his saving a penalty in their FA Cup semi final victory over Swindon Town, and keeping two clean sheets in Barnsley’s replayed FA Cup Final victory over West Bromwich Albion, forever writing himself into the club’s history. In the replay he made an important save, diving onto his side, to save a quick shot from Bob Pailor, The Baggies’ centre forward, though the ball was finally cleared by Bob Glendinning.
He continued to play regularly for Barnsley until the suspension of football due to the onset of the First World War, being ever present in their final three seasons before the War, by when he had made 192 appearances for the club. During the War he served in France with The Royal Field Artillery and played wartime league football for Arsenal. But on resumption he joined Southern League club Newport County and kept goal in their inaugural Football League match against Reading in August 1920 when they joined the Third Division. He played all but 3 matches in their initial two League seasons, totalling 134 appearances for The Ironsides before retiring in 1922.
NB in the photograph of Barnsley players in training, Cooper appears on the left with Dickie Downs (centre) and George Lillycrop (right).