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Club News

RIP: Robbie Cooke

19 August 2021

The club is saddened to learn of the passing of former striker Robbie Cooke, aged 64.

Robert Leslie Cooke was born in Rotherham in 1957.

The striker worked his way through the Stags’ youth teams and made his first team debut at Chester in October 1976.

He is thought of as ‘the one that got away’ by Stags fans’ of the time.

In that era, as a forward, he was competing with the likes of Ernie Moss, Kevin Randall, Terry Eccles and Dave Syrett, which limited his first team opportunities.

In spite of his great potential he only made 16 first team appearances before being released.

In 1978-79 he finsihed the season as top goalscorer for Grantham with 43 goals, and netted 39 the season after.

He left Grantham for Peterborough United for a then club record fee of £12,000.

Robbie scored regularly for Posh and continued to do so following subsequent moves to Cambridge United and Brentford; in the 1984-85 season saw he finished as leading goal scorer for both clubs. He played alongside Ernie Moss at Kettering where also won caps for the England C team.

Eventually Robbie became assistant manager to Peter Morris at Kettering where he lasted about two years before being sacked in the summer of 2000.

He worked for several years at travel agent Thomas Cook’s HQ in Peterborough, but left after being invited to become a part-time scout for Preston North End by former Cambridge United teammate and then-Preston manager David Moyes.

Cooke subsequently followed Moyes to Premier League side Everton in 2002 and Manchester United in 2013, serving as chief scout at both clubs.

After Moyes was sacked by Manchester United in April 2014, Cooke was not retained by incoming manager Louis van Gaal.

He later held scouting jobs with Burnley from 2014 until 2017.

He reunited with David Moyes at West Ham United in 2020 and was still there at the time of his death though cancer in August 2021.

The club sends its condolences to Robbie’s family at this sad time.


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