Robbie Cooke

Robbie Cooke
Personal information
Full name Robert Leslie Cooke[1]
Date of birth (1957-02-16) 16 February 1957
Place of birth Rotherham, England
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1978 Mansfield Town 15 (1)
1978–1980 Grantham 78 (65)
1980–1983 Peterborough United 115 (51)
1983Luton Town (loan)
1983–1985 Cambridge United 65 (14)
1985Brentford (loan)
1985–1987 Brentford 124 (53)
1987–1988 Millwall 4 (1)
1988–1991 Kettering Town 95 (49)
1991 Grantham Town 10 (5)
1991–1992 Northampton Spencer
1992–1993 Bourne Town
National team
England C
Teams managed
Warboys Town
1998–2000 Kettering Town (assistant)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Leslie "Robbie" Cooke (born 16 February 1957) is a retired English footballer and manager who played as a forward in the Football League, most notably for Peterborough United and Brentford. He represented England C at international level while playing Non-League football. After retiring from football, Cooke managed Warboys Town and later became a scout.

Club career

Mansfield Town

Cooke began his career in the youth system at Division Three side Mansfield Town,[2] making 9 appearances and scoring one goal in his debut season, in which the Stags won the 1976–77 Division Three title. He made only six appearances in Division Two during the 1977–78 season and departed the club at the end of the campaign, having made just 15 first team appearances for the club.[3]


Cooke joined Southern League Division One North side Grantham in the summer of 1978,[3] firing in 43 goals to propel the club to the divisional title.[2] Cooke's performances saw him awarded the Supporters' Player of the Year award. Grantham moved to the Northern Premier League for the 1979–80 season and Cooke was on fire again, scoring 39 goals.[2] He departed the Gingerbreads at the end of the campaign.[2]

Peterborough United

Cooke's goalscoring exploits for Grantham caught the eye of Division Four side Peterborough United, culminating in him moving to the club for a £12,000 fee in the summer of 1980.[2] He was an immediate hit at Posh, scoring 29 goals in 56 games during the 1980–81 season, helping the club to the fifth round of the FA Cup and was named in the Division Four PFA Team of the Year.[4] Cooke bettered his goalscoring tally in the 1981–82 season, scoring 31 goals in 55 games.[4] Cooke's prolific form tailed off during the 1982–83 season, managing only 11 goals in 33 appearances before departing mid-season.[4] Cooke scored 71 goals in 144 appearances for the Posh.[4]

Luton Town (loan)

Cooke had a loan spell at Division One side Luton Town during the 1982–83 season.[4]

Cambridge United

Cooke signed for Division Two side Cambridge United during the 1982/83 season for a £12,000 fee.[5] He failed to find his prolific goalscoring form for the struggling club, which suffered relegation to Division Three in 1984. Cooke managed 14 goals in 65 appearances[3] and with relegation to Division Four looming, he departed the club midway through the 1984–85 season.

Brentford (loan and permanent transfer)

Cooke joined Division Three side Brentford on loan midway through the 1984–85 season[4] and later signed permanently for a £20,000 fee, on the recommendation of former Cambridge manager John Docherty.[6] Cooke quickly found some form, scoring 12 goals in 24 league games and netting what proved to be a consolation in the 3–1 1985 Football League Trophy Final defeat to Wigan Athletic. Cooke finished the 1984–85 season as both Brentford and Cambridge United's top scorer, only the third time in history the feat had been managed.[2] Three years of mid-table mediocrity followed and Cooke departed Brentford in December 1987, having scored 64 goals in 150 games for the Bees.[6]


Cooke reunited with John Docherty and joined Division Two high-flyers Millwall on 11 December 1987 for a £30,000 fee, scoring one goal in five appearances during the remainder of the 1987–88 season.[7] He was unable to break up the forward pairing of Tony Cascarino and Teddy Sheringham and departed the Lions in September 1988.[7]

Kettering Town

Cooke dropped back into Non-League football to join Conference side Kettering Town in September 1988.[7] He had a prolific spell with the Poppies, scoring 49 goals in 95 appearances across three seasons in which the club consistently challenged for promotion to the Football League.

Non-league nomad

Cooke rounded out his career with spells at Northampton Spencer, Bourne Town and a second stint at Grantham Town.[2]

International career

Cooke's form while at Kettering Town won him England C recognition.[8]

Managerial and coaching career

Cooke had a spell as player-coach at Southern League Midland Division side Grantham Town during the 1991–92 season.[2] After his retirement from football, Cooke became manager at Eastern Counties League Division One side Warboys Town.[2] In December 1998, Cooke returned to Kettering Town to become assistant manager and first team coach.[9]

Scouting career

Cooke was 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.[10][11] After Moyes was sacked by Manchester United in April 2014,[12] Cooke was not retained by incoming manager Louis van Gaal.[13]

Personal life

Cooke's nephew Russell was also a footballer and played for Hucknall Town, Eastwood Town and Ilkeston Town.[14][15] Cooke worked for Thomas Cook and later for Travelex in the 1990s.[10]


As a player

Mansfield Town


Northampton Spencer

As an individual


  1. "Barry Hugman's Footballers - Robbie Cooke". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Cooke, Robbie (1957 – )". Grantham Matters. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. 1 2 3
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time on Pitch. "Robbie Cooke's Career – UpThePosh! The Peterborough United Database". Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  5. "1982/83 Transfers – UpThePosh! The Peterborough United Database". Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  6. 1 2 Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. p. 40. ISBN 978-0955294914.
  7. 1 2 3 "Millwall Players A to D". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  8. Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
  9. Metcalf, Rupert (11 December 1998). "Football: Non-League Notebook – Morris's minor miracle – Sport". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. 1 2 "FOOTBALL: Everton job was too good for cooke to turn down". Peterborough Telegraph. 19 December 2002. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  11. Ian Herbert (27 February 2014). "Comment: David Moyes must be bold to rebuild Manchester United, with club ready to spend £200m in transfer market – News & Comment – Football". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  12. Simon Stone (22 April 2014). "David Moyes: Manchester United manager sacked by club". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  13. Edwards, John. "Louis van Gaal armed with £200million to revamp Manchester United". Mail Online. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  14. "New era for non-league football". Hucknall Dispatch. 13 August 2004. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  15. "Football : Russell Cooke". 18 May 1981. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
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