Taken Too Soon - The Davie Cooper Stpry

By Big Mac
Last updated : 18 March 2005


Games: 540

Goals: 70

League Championships: 77-78/86-87/88-89

Scottish Cup: 77-78/78-79/80-81/90-91

League Cup: 77-78/78-79/81-82/83-84/84-85/86-87/87-88

Today is 23 March 1995 and the lights have gone out for a generation
of Rangers supporters. The death of Davie Cooper is a tragedy not
only for his family and friends (to whom I extend my deepest
sympathy), but also for those of us who stood awe-struck on the
terraces almost unable to believe the sheer genius of the man. The
fans of Motherwell and Clydebank will also feel sad this day but it
is the Rangers Fans, His Fans, the ones he thrilled for so long that
feel the biggest loss. "Super Cooper" was one of us, he will always
be a Ranger in my heart and the hearts of all my generation for whom
he was the blinding light during our formative years.

I was 16 when the Coop signed for Rangers and for me became the
legend in my lifetime in the mould of Baxter a generation before.
Davie Cooper was and still is the best player I've seen in a Rangers
jersey. We all used to marvel at his ability to beat men on the run,
deliver the defence splitting pass and take free kicks only
Brazilians were supposed to be capable of and all the time standing
on his right foot.

People occasionally complained that he was inconsistent and that is
probably true but in true mercurial fashion it was often when he was
having an "off day" that he would produce one piece of magic that
literally took your breath away. Only this season with the arrival of
Brian Laudrup has the same buzz of anticipation swept a football
ground as when the ball landed at the Coops feet. And when he did
play well whether as a flash or through a whole game it was evident
why football is called "the beautiful game".

We will all have our own special or favourite memories of him, be it
the wonder goals he scores, both solo efforts a la Glasgow Cup Final
or away to Hearts in Souness's first season, and spectacular free
kicks a la League Cup against St Mirren at Ibrox, the equaliser in
the League Cup Final against Dundee Utd or the absolute belter
against Aberdeen again in the League Cup Final. Be it the superb
passes or all round quality he displayed in numerous games. Who can
ever forget THE pass and THE final. Said of any other player there
could be options, what pass, what final. With Davie we are talking of
moments of such high skill that everyone remembers the reverse pass
that released Durrant in the live game vs the Beggars in 86 and the
most complete performance seen in my lifetime at the Scottish Cup
Final replay in 81.

If Davie had been a young man today his value would have been
mind-boggling, he was a steal at £100,000 then, it would take 100
times that to get one half as good today. He was all the more
remarkable in that for almost half the time he was at Ibrox he was
the only good player there and was often carrying the whole team. He
showed how good he really was when he had some support and even
though he had lost a little pace he blossomed under Souness turning
in a string of supreme performances in that League Cup and title
winning year. Even after he left Ibrox he continued to do the
business for Motherwell and was the driving force behind them winning
the Cup in 91. In short he was a footballing genius and there's not
many that can be said about.

Rest in Peace Coop and torment the life out of the defenders in the
football pitch in the sky. I doubt I shall see another like you in my


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