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Silkmen A-Z: John Cooke

26 May 2019

Over the years Macclesfield Town have been blessed with a vast array of goalkeepers, who have all performed miracles inbetween the posts. As we continue our look back at the heroes of yesteryear, we feature a man who more than deserves the accolade - John Cooke 

John was renowned for being a tall and ferocious 'keeper who was full of bravery and courage. 

At the age of seventeen, Cooke was an England trialist - such was his growing reputation in the game.

John progressed through the ranks at Port Vale, where he signed his first professional contract back in 1960 and four years later, he left Vale Park to sign for The Silkmen.

The move signalled the start of what would prove to be an illustrious career at the Moss Rose and one which is still held in the highest of regard to this day. 

John wore the goalkeeper's shirt with pride during his time at Macc and was universally accepted as being the finest stopper outside the Football League. 

Cooke played an integral part in our glorious FA Cup run of 1968, which culminated in the infamous trip to Craven Cottage to face First Division Fulham. 

Despite The Cottagers controversially claiming a 4 - 2 victory that day, Keith Goalen's side attracted national praise for their sportsmanship in the face of adversity and Cooke played a central role in that. 

Macc stormed to the Cheshire League title that season, as Cooke played his part in ensuring that title glory came to the Moss Rose. 

As a result, The Silkmen ascended to the Northern Premier League - yet the step up did not faze anyone, as Macc won back to back titles in 1969 and 1970. 

Macc also had the honour of contesting the first ever FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium in May 1970. 

Goals from Dave Lyon and Brian Fidler ensured that we became the inaugural winners of the competition, as Telford United were beaten 2 - 0 in an historic day - not just for Macclesfield Town, but for English football in general. 

Cooke once again played a fundamental part in that memorable success and the photographs which remain of the jubilation which followed are amongst the most iconic in our history. 

A player blessed with natural talent in such an abundance is always going to attract interest from higher division clubs and John was no exception. 

Yet Cooke remained loyal to Macclesfield Town and rejected all interest in him - which included a £6,000 bid from the illustrious Bristol City. 

A true fans favourite, John left the club in the summer of 1971 and went on to have successful spells at Altrincham, Chorley and Morecambe. 

It is always a pleasure to welcome John back to the club which he gave so much to and it was our great honour to host the fiftieth anniversary reunion of that dramatic FA Cup tie at Fulham back in January last year.

Although many years may have past, John remains etched into the fabric of this club and his contribution will never be forgotten.

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