Kevin Cooper (footballer)
|Full name||Kevin Lee Cooper|
|Date of birth||8 February 1975|
|Place of birth||Derby, England|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|1997||→ Stockport County (loan)||12||(3)|
|2004||→ Sunderland (loan)||1||(0)|
|2004||→ Norwich City (loan)||10||(0)|
|2007||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||4||(0)|
|2007||→ Walsall (loan)||7||(0)|
|2007||→ Tranmere Rovers (loan)||4||(0)|
|2012–||Cardiff City U-21|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Cooper began his career as a trainee at Derby County but managed only five first team appearances for the club in total. His league debut came on 7 May 1995, as a substitute in a 2–1 defeat at Watford. In the spring of 1997, he found an opportunity for first team football when he was taken on loan at First Division Stockport County.
The midfielder joined the Edgeley Park club permanently that summer for £150,000 and went on to make 173 appearances in total over almost four seasons. He eventually moved to Wimbledon in March 2001 for £800,000. He stayed a year with the Dons, notching his best seasonal goal tally of 10 during the 2001-02 season. However, he ended the season by being signed by his former Stockport manager Dave Jones, now at Wolverhampton Wanderers, for £1 million in March 2002. He won the fans' player of the year award at Wimbledon and was presented with it on the pitch at Molineux playing for his new team.
He joined Wolves primarily to replace the then-injured Mark Kennedy, and played the remainder of the 2001-02 season as Wolves, who had been challenging for automatic promotion for most of the season, finished in the play-offs. Wolves eventually lost to Norwich City, despite Cooper scoring a spectacular long range goal in the second leg. He then featured regularly, although not as a first choice player, throughout the following season as the team won promotion to the Premier League.
Cooper did not get to enjoy the top flight though. His one substitute appearance against Charlton Athletic was the only Premier League appearance of his career. He spent the later half of the season on loan at second tier clubs Sunderland and Norwich City, where he won a championship medal as the Canaries won the division.
He returned to Wolves, post-relegation, and found himself back in the side during the 2004-05 season. However, he requested a transfer for more playing time, and was signed again by Dave Jones, newly appointed at fellow Championship club Cardiff City, in July 2005. He was a regular player in his first season at Ninian Park but fell out of favour in the following years and was loaned out to Yeovil Town and Walsall during the 2006-07 season and was subsequently placed on the transfer list at the end of the season.
He stayed at Cardiff through the summer but again found himself only in the reserve squad at the start of the year, so he joined League One side Tranmere Rovers on a one-month loan in October 2007. After returning to his parent club, he was given a send-off game against Welshpool Town in the FAW Premier Cup, his first game in over a year for the Bluebirds.
His contract at Cardiff was terminated by mutual consent on 1 February 2008, so that Cooper would have a better chance of finding a new side. One week later, he joined Chesterfield until the end of the season. where he made a goalscoring debut against Grimsby, However, his contract was not extended at the end of the season and he was released.
Cooper then played for Neath in the Welsh Premier League, and also appeared for the University of Glamorgan football team. He scored a candidate for goal of the season in late 2010 as he chipped Newtown goalkeeper Dave Roberts from the halfway line at Latham Park.
After leaving Neath, Cooper relocated to Malaysia to manage Cardiff's 1MCC – One Malaysia Cardiff City – which is linked to the Far Eastern ownership of Cardiff City he played for KLI in the KLEV League.
Ahead of the start of the 2012–13 season, Cooper returned to Cardiff City as the coach of the club's under-21 side.
- "Cooper, KL (Kevin)", English National Football Archive
- "Cooper in shock Wimbledon switch". BBC Sport. 15 March 2001.
- "Cooper signs for Wolves". BBC Sport. 27 March 2002.
- "Norwich end Wolves hopes". BBC. 1 May 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Black Cats sign Cooper". BBC Sport. 4 January 2004.
- "Norwich seal Cooper deal". BBC Sport. 19 March 2004.
- "Wolves grant Cooper move request". BBC Sport. 25 May 2005.
- "Purse heads triple Cardiff swoop". BBC Sport. 26 July 2005.
- "Tranmere recruit Cardiff winger". BBC Sport. 25 October 2007.
- "Spireites swoop for winger Cooper". BBC Sport. 8 February 2008.
- "Grimsby 4–2 Chesterfield". BBC. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Cardiff City's Far Eastern Alliance". BBC Sport. 24 February 2012.