There have been many players tipped for big things but haven’t quite reached the levels expected of them. Danny Cadamarteri was touted as England’s next big striker but currently plys his trade for Dundee United in Scotland. Giles Barnes was another player touted to set the English game alight after being mentioned as a possible target for a host of teams but his career did not develop as expected and earlier this month he was released from Derby.
So you could be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Terry Cooke as he too belongs in the class of the afore mentioned.
Starting his career at Old Trafford, Cooke looked well on his way to forging a career at the club when he scored the winning penalty against Tottenham in the 1995 FA Youth Cup. He would make his first team debut in the same year against Bolton setting up Ryan Giggs and then scoring against York City as United crashed out of the League Cup.
So how did he end up only making 8 first team appearances for the club?
The two rose through the ranks at The Cliff together and although Cooke initially garnered the attention it was Beckham who shone in the long run as they competed for the right wing position. As Beckham began to emerge, Cooke found chances in the first team hard to come by and was loaned to Sunderland, Birmingham, Wrexham and Man City before being sold to Man City outright in March 1999 for £1m.
He helped City achieve promotion from the second division that same year but lost his spot the following season as Man City were promoted into the Premier League. Again he faced a number of loans moves during his spell at City to the likes Wigan, Sheffield United and Grimsby town before making the permanent move to Grimsby’s Blundell Park.
His spell there would be overshadowed by an off field dispute with then manager Paul Groves and at the end of the 02-03 season he left as the club were relegated from the first division.
Cooke would spend 1 more season in England with Sheffield Wednesday before migrating to America to play for The Colorado Rapids, his time there was rather anonymous but in April 2008 he got his moment in the spotlight when the Rapids hammered LA Galaxy 4-0.
This normally wouldn’t have caught the world’s attention but when the Galaxy team included former team mate David Beckham it did, as Cooke captained the Rapids to victory on the first day of the season.
Released by the Rapids in July of this year, Cooke trialed and trained with the Seattle Sounders, Nottingham Forest and Coventry before finally signing for Australian side North Queensland Fury in November on an injury replacement contract.
Cooke didn’t as much fall from grace as be pushed by David Beckham. And he must wonder if he had been given the chance at Old Trafford could he have ascended to the heights that Beckham did?
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