Right back Tom “Snowy” Cooper (his nickname earned from his distinctive blondness) started his career with his local club, Port Vale, having been bought for £20 from local team Trentham in 1924, making his debut in December that year. He played 33 games before moving to Derby County in March 1926 for £2000 where he quickly established himself as an England international winning his first cap in October 1927 and playing 266 games in nearly 10 years for The Rams among some of the best Derby County teams in the club’s history. In 1930 they finished runners up in the First Division, he became club captain in 1931. He scored his solitary career goal in the 1931-32 season. He went on to win 15 international caps and captain England 4 times, winning his last cap in September 1934. He moved to Liverpool in December 1934 for £6000, playing 160 times for The Reds, and was still playing wartime football for Liverpool for whom he had played 150 games when in 1941 he tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident while delivering dispatches for the Royal Military Police aged only 35. He was undoubtedly one of England’s finest full backs and 15 caps was a sizeable number to win in those days of relatively few international matches. His excellent career, his captaincy of England (we will have an image on site of him introducing his players to The King) and his unfortunate demise in the service of his country rightly lead to his inclusion in the Heroes section.

Tom Cooper relaxes on the beach at Blackpool with a Topical Times football magazine and a cigarette in 1929.

http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/images/localworld/ugc-images/276250/Article/images/21166808/6165475-large.jpgOn a postcard advising Tom that he had been selected to play for England against Ireland in Belfast in 1927, it included the instruction: “Bring your own soap and towel.”