Andrea Radrizzani, Liam Cooper and Jeff Stelling lead tributes to former Leeds United legend Terry Cooper

Andrea Radrizzani, Liam Cooper and Jeff Stelling have led the tributes to Terry Cooper after the former Leeds United legend passed away aged 77.

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 3:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st August 2021, 3:06 pm

Former left back Cooper made 351 appearances for Leeds as part of the club's most successful era ever under legendary boss Don Revie.

The defender played a vital part in a landmark moment in the club's history by scoring the only goal of the game in the 1968 League Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley as Revie's side won their first major honour.

Six more were to follow via two First Division titles, two Inter Cities Fairs Cups, an FA Cup triumph and a Charity Shield win.

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TRIBUTE: From Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani, left, to Leeds United legend Terry Cooper, right, following the former defender's passing. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Cooper made his Whites debut as a 19-year-old back in 1964 in the 3-0 victory against Swansea Town which itself was a landmark triumph in being the win that sent Leeds up to English football's top tier.

Initially a left winger, Cooper also made 20 appearances for England and represented his country in the 1970 World Cup.

News that the former Leeds and England star had passed away broke on Saturday evening and tributes have poured in from all around football for the former ace defender.

Leading from the front, Whites chairman Radrizzani quickly took to his Twitter page to say: "RIP Terry. My prayers are with his family."

Whites captain Cooper joined Radrizzani in paying tribute, saying: "Devastating to hear this. A legend of our great club. Sending all our love to Terry's family. May you Rest in Peace."

Stelling, presenter of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, said: "Terry Cooper, a wonderful buccaneering full back who was part of my childhood has gone. Incredibly sad."

Cooper starred in the same position as former Whites ace Tony Dorigo who posted a photograph of the duo together after learning of his passing.

Dorigo said: "Oh no no no….the wonderful Terry Cooper has passed away - honoured to finally get to meet the great man at the Centenary Celebrations a few years back.

"RIP TC.

"Love and prayers to his family, tough recent times for the Leeds United football club family. Another absolute legend gone."

Instagram was also awash with tributes to the former Whites star.

Replying to the post from Leeds United's official account about Cooper's passing, former Whites boss Simon Grayson said: "Terrible news that we've lost another great today. RIP Terry. MOT."

Former Leeds captain Dom Matteo wrote "RIP TC so so sad to hear this" whilst fellow former former stars Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane also posted their condolences.

Tributes also poured in from the other clubs that Cooper represented during his career and England were quick to pay their respects with a post on social media.

"We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Terry Cooper at the age of 77," read the post.

"Cooper won 20 caps for the Three Lions between 1969 and 1974.

"All of our thoughts are with Terry’s family, friends and former clubs."

Cooper began his career at Leeds and did not depart until 1975, after which he joined Middlesbrough.

The Riversiders took to social media to write a message of "Such sad news. Our thoughts are with Terry’s family and friends."

Boro also released a statement which read: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player Terry Cooper at the age of 77.

"Terry made over 100 appearances for Boro between 1975-78 after being signed by his old Leeds United team-mate Jack Charlton.

"His one goal for Boro against Liverpool doesn't reflect his classy contribution on the park during his time as an Ayresome regular.

"Cooper joined us after spending over a decade at Elland Road with Don Revie where he won numerous honours and picked up 20 England caps.

"After retiring as a player in the early 1980s, Terry went on to manage both Bristol clubs, Birmingham City, and had two spells in charge at Exeter City.

"Our thoughts are with Terry's family and friends at this time.

"We shall be paying our respects by wearing black armbands in memory Terry at our game at Darlington on Sunday."

Cooper - who also had a short spell with Doncaster Rovers as a player - latespent over a decade as Southampton's chief European scout before retiring.

Southampton paid tribute on their official Twitter account, saying: "Saints FC is saddened by the passing of Terry Cooper, who served the club as an assistant and long-term scout.

"Our thoughts are with Terry's family and loved ones."

Former Saints star Francis Benali said: "Deeply saddened to hear the passing of Terry Cooper.

"Thoroughly enjoyed working with him at Saints and I learnt so much from a left back legend.

"Love and thoughts with his family and friends."

All four clubs that Cooper managed paid tribute to the former star.

Bristol Rovers Tweeted: "The football club is saddened to hear of the passing of former player and manager, Terry Cooper.

Our thoughts are with Terry's friends and family at this difficult time."

Bristol City Tweeted: "Bristol City is devastated to learn of the passing of former player and manager Terry Cooper.

Our thoughts are with Terry’s family and friends at this difficult time.

"A true City legend."

Birmingham City posted: "We are devastated to hear of the passing of our former Manager, Terry Cooper.

"Everyone’s thoughts at Birmingham City are with Terry’s family and friends."

A Tweet from Exeter City read: "Exeter City is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Cooper at the age of 77.

"Terry managed the Grecians to the Fourth Division championship in 1990.

"Our thoughts are with Terry's friends and family."

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Thank you Laura Collins