Tributes to ‘warrior’ footballer David Cook

David Cook.
David Cook.

A footballer and granddad described as a “warrior on the pitch” by teammates has died.

Tributes have been paid to former Emley AFC striker David Cook, who died on Saturday at Pinderfields Hospital aged 62. He had been battling motor neurone disease for around three years.

Mr Cook, of Thornes, is survived by his wife Helen, 63, son Joe, 33, daughters Hannah, 35, and Laura, 25, and grandchildren Alfie and Maisie.

The pinnacle of Mr Cook’s playing days came in 1988 when he took to the pitch in front of 15,000 fans at Wembley in the FA Vase Final against Colne Dynamoes. Colne scored in extra time and despite frantic efforts, Emley could not equalise, losing 1-0.

But despite the defeat Emley won the league that season.

Mr Cook, who also played cricket for Thornes, ran H Smith Electrical and set up HS Electrical Services, in 2012.

Son Joe Cook said: “People have been saying he was a gentleman off the pitch and a warrior on it. As a family that’s the quote that has touched us the most and really sums him up.”

A funeral will be held at St Michael’s Church, on Westgate, at 11.45 on Thursday, October 13, then Wakefield Crematorium. Donations to the Motor Neurone Disease Association will be welcome.