John Sylvester COOPER


Guernsey Number: 8
Career: 1942
NFC Games: 0
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v Port-Torrens (Norwood) 15th August 1942
Finale: v Sturt-South (Adelaide) 22nd August 1952

VFL/AFL Clubs: Carlton


Wartime Competition 1942 - 1944
Norwood-North games: 2
Norwood-North goals: 2

Jack Cooper was a wiry West Australian who played senior football in four states between 1941 and 1951.  A 188-centimetre key forward who marked strongly and kicked straight, he played two games for Norwood-North in the World War II competition while on RAAF training in South Australia.

He was only 18 when he kicked four goals in his one senior game for Subiaco in the WAFL in 1941.  He enlisted for war service in Perth on 26 April 1942 and was sent east for training.

Jack experienced mixed success in his South Australian debut at Norwood Oval on 15 August 1942.  He was named at centre half-forward in an unsettled Norwood-North team which lost to Port-Torrens by 43 points, 20.14 to 14.7.  He did, however, kick two goals and Roy Colmer wrote in The News: “The redlegs were pleased with the showing of Cooper, the former West Australian, against the magpies and expect him to improve with training and match practice.”

Sturt-South thrashed Norwood-North 20.17 to 11.10 in the next match and Jack was not selected for the first semi-final in which West-Glenelg eliminated the Redlegs on 28 August.

Back home as Leading Aircraftman Cooper, Jack was Subiaco’s leading forward with 43 goals in 16 games in 1945.  He was discharged from the RAAF on 19 December that year.

His next senior football engagement was with Carlton in the VFL in 1947.  Playing at full forward, he booted nine goals in his three games – including a bag of six against St Kilda – and then inexplicably quit in the middle of what turned out to be a premiership season.

He ended his senior football career as a leading goalkicker for Clarence in the TFL from 1949 to 1951.

Jack Cooper was born at Subiaco on 29 December 1922.  He died on 29 September2003 in the southern Perth suburb of Shoalwater.

P. Robins, G. Wardell-Johnson November 2022

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