Colin Cooper - England - Biography 1995

Photo/Foto: Stuart Franklin

Date: 11 June 1995

Click on image to enlarge

      Central Defender
      Tuesday, 28 February 1967
      Sedgefield, England.
  • England
  • Middlesbrough FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1984-1991, 1998-2006
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 8th March 1986 as a sub in a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace (Aged: 19)
    • Club Career

  • Nottingham Forest
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Sunday, 15th August 1993 in a 1-1 draw at Southend United (Aged: 26)
    • Club Career
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Colin COOPER - England - Biography 1995

Although a sizeable majority of his long club career was spent at Middlesbrough, it was as a Nottingham Forest player that utility defender Colin Cooper caught the attention of England coach Terry Venables, who was looking for potential squad fillers for the 1996 European Championships for which, as hosts, England didn't need to qualify. Cooper had excelled in the centre of the Forest defence during their return to top flight football in the 1994/95 season and was rewarded when he joined a number of untried Premiership defenders - John Scales, David Unsworth and Warren Barton were the others - for cameo turns in the Umbro tournament in May '95. Colin didn't disgrace himself as he debuted alongside Gary Pallister in an eventful 3-3 draw against Sweden at Elland Road (in which England scored twice in the last two minutes to level up) before earning his second cap alongside Scales in a 3-1 Wembley reversal against Brazil. That game (see photo above) saw Colin up against an exciting teenage striker by the name of Ronaldo who scored the first of what proved to be many international goals to put the Brazilians 2-1 ahead after a brilliant free kick by Juninho (who was to join Middlesbrough later that year) cancelled out Graeme Le Saux's equally spectacular opener. Ultimately, none of the experimental charges would feature in Venables' plans again, and Cooper went back to the club fold, serving Forest impressively for a further three years before returning to his roots with Middlesbrough in August 1998. (Matthew Rudd)