Davie Cooper

By Adam Robertson
 September 30, 2020

Davie Cooper - Telepathic Understanding

Davie Cooper - Telepathic Understanding

During the 1987 League Cup Final Rangers won a free kick on the edge of the box and commentator Jock Brown told us that [Graham] Roberts was dictating things before his voice came to a crescendo when he announced that the ball was brilliantly struck by Davie Cooper. 

Brilliantly struck? Aye, that’s an understatement. Coop skelped the ball with his left foot and it exploded past Jim Leighton in the Aberdeen goal. Leighton later claimed to have nearly stopped it but I’m sure, on reflection, he’s glad he didn’t get anywhere near the ball. It must have been a blur of white as it seared in to the top corner of the net.

That was one of a number of special moments that Cooper treated us to in a Rangers jersey. The mazy run against Ilves Tampere in the UEFA Cup in 1986, the delicious reverse pass to tee up Ian Durrant for the winner against Celtic and the goal he conjured up in the Drybrough Cup Final when he juggled the ball up and over a number of Celtic defenders before knocking it past Peter Latchford are also at the forefront when I hear his name mentioned.

On his day Davie was unplayable. As witnessed by his goal against Aberdeen he was capable of smacking a ball hard but he would more often than not caress it and seldom when it was in his possession did it wander too far from his majestic left foot. 

When the dark clouds hung over Ibrox in the early to mid-1980s, Cooper was a shining light amongst the gloom. Sometimes overlooked by John Greig, he came back to the fore under Jock Wallace and positively thrived when Graeme Souness surrounded him with a cast of A-list talent in 1986.

Davie had an almost telepathic understanding with the likes of McCoist and Durrant but what I liked about him too was his humility. There were no airs or graces, no prima donna strops; here was a guy who loved playing football, loved to entertain his people. And when he was done he was more than happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the punters in the bookies or to share a pint while pouring over the runners and riders in The Racing Post.

For me he was allowed to leave us too early and that is confirmed when you see what he did when he joined Motherwell. His death in March 1995 still makes me feel numb when I think about it. How could he have been taken at such a young age? There have been few like him before or since and I’m sure up there in heaven he’s still doing what he did best, entertaining. God bless you Davie Cooper.

Alistair Aird

Rangers fc charity foundation - legends challenge

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