'Leader of men' - David Prutton reveals his Liam Cooper text message with captain's 'embarrassing' Leeds United moment firmly banished

David Prutton has hailed fellow Hull lad Liam Cooper for 'ticking every box' - nearly four years on from witnessing Cooper's self-proclaimed 'embarrassing' night at Cardiff City.

By Lee Sobot
Friday, 16th July 2021, 5:06 pm

Former Whites midfielder turned Sky Sports presenter Prutton covered Leeds United's Championship clash at Cardiff City on the evening of Tuesday, September 26, 2017 in which Cooper was sent off just before the break.

Having already been booked, the Whites captain scythed down Nathaniel Mendez-Laing on the touchline and was promptly shown a second yellow card by referee Kevin Friend and sent off.

Leeds were 2-0 down at the time and went on to suffer a 3-1 defeat, after which Prutton spoke with Cooper for a post-match debrief following a reverse which proved the start of seven defeats in nine games.

OFF: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper clatters Cardiff City's Nathaniel Mendez- Laing to earn a second yellow card and an early bath in the Championship clash of September 2017. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Cooper took to social media after his dismissal, admitting he was "embarrassed and disappointed" with himself.

But just short of four years later, Prutton and Cooper have been in touch in rather different circumstances as Cooper featured for Scotland at this summer's European Championships having captained Leeds to a ninth-placed finish upon their Premier League return.

Cooper and Prutton were both born in Hull and Prutton has paid a glowing tribute to the Leeds United's captain recent progress.

"I texted him over the course of covering one of their games in the Euros," Prutton told the YEP.

"Paul Cook was talking about having him as a kid at Chesterfield and how he kind of just laid it out to him about what he might need to do to become better at what he does.

"His career took off and I just wanted to text him as a lad from Hull.

"I don't just text lads from Hull that I am respectful of but I just said 'make sure that you enjoy it mate, you are captain of one of the biggest clubs in the country and playing for your country, make sure you appreciate and understand and really thoroughly enjoy it but don't let your standards slip.'

"With someone like Coops, I don't think that will be the case, I think he is a good leader of men.

"I have seen him around and about to chat to and we did a game down at Cardiff where he got sent off.

"He got a yellow and then there was a challenge which was down near where the studio was on the touchline and he absolutely cleaned him out.

"I burst out laughing and I saw him afterwards and said, 'flipping hell mate'.

"I said 'coming from the point of view of knowing what it looks like and having done that many times there was no hiding that was there' and he said 'you are right.'

"He knew there was no doubt about what had happened there and I just thought, bless him.

"But he has progressed with what he has managed to do since and the questions that were laid out in front of him were can Liam Cooper be a captain in the Premier League? Can he defend in the Premier League and can he play for an international side?

"He has ticked all of those boxes and done it in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the players as likable, humble, hard working and honest.

"I think it's terrific."

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Thank you Laura Collins