- Not to be confused with the rugby league footballer of the 1990s for England, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls and Huddersfield Giants, Paul Cook
|Full name||Paul Cooke|
17 April 1981 |
Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||16 st 0 lb (102 kg)|
|2007–10||Hull Kingston Rovers||65||9||92||0||222|
|As of 09 September 2010|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Paul Cooke (born April 17, 1981 in east Hull) is a rugby league player for Doncaster in the Championship. He previously played for Wakefield Trinity and Hull Kingston Rovers having transferred from cross city-rivals, Hull in April 2007. Paul can cover two positions with loose forward and standoff.
His pairing with Richard Horne led to the memorable victory over Leeds in the 2005 Challenge Cup Final in which Cooke scored the winning try to give Hull a 25-24 victory. Hull reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against St Helens RLFC and Cooke played at stand-off half back in his side's 4-26 loss.
On 22 July after being given a franchise for Super League from 2009 to 2011 Salford coach Shaun McRae said he would be interested in speaking to Cooke with an intention of him joining his side. Cooke and McRae worked together at Hull earlier in their careers.
On 19 April 2007, BBC Radio Humberside announced that Paul Cooke was to walk out on Hull to join cross city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers. Cooke was born in East Hull where Hull KR are based and supported the club as a youngster. He played his last game for Hull against Bradford that night. The saga was based around Cooke's frustration at being on a lower wage than other established stars at Hull. Asking the board for a pay rise, the request was denied. With Hull refusing to increase his pay, Paul Cooke walked out on Hull and signed for Hull Kingston Rovers.
On 23 April 2007, it was announced that Cooke had signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Hull Kingston Rovers, taking effect immediately. The RFL initially blocked this transfer stating that his registration remained with Hull. Some confusion followed amid allegations that he had never signed his contract with Hull, despite local media reports at the time to the contrary. However the move went ahead and he duly turned up playing for the "Robins" the following week.
Cooke finally realised his dream of playing for his boyhood heroes. Although he will always be remembered for his part in Hull's Challenge Cup Victory over Leeds in 2005, he may find himself vilified by some Hull fans. His form has been improving for his new club, manifested on 3 August 2007 where he helped inspire his team to a vital victory at fellow strugglers Salford by 30-24, which all but guaranteed top flight status for the Robins going into the 2008 Campaign.
In November 2007 a Rugby Football League tribunal found Cooke guilty of misconduct for approaching the Robins while still under contract to Hull. His punishment included a ban that will rule him out of the first six games of the 2008 season.
Following the tribunal decision Hull chief executive James Rule said "We will now take time to consider our next steps with regard to potential future civil action" suggesting the Cooke transfer saga may be far from over. However it appears to have died down, and by the end of the 2009 season Cooke had settled into the Hull KR team, making a major contribution to his team's next 2 Super League finishes of 7th and 4th.
Wakefield signed Paul Cooke from Hull KR until the end of the 2010-11 season.
The 28-year-old stand-off, who made a controversial move from Hull to the Robins in 2007, had been out of favour at Craven Park that season. Cooke made his debut with Wakefield Trinity against Salford on Sunday 21 March 2010, and made his full debut in the 36-16 defeat at Warrington, and his first full home game when Wakefield won 19-6 against neighbours Castleford. It was in that game when Trinity fans realised Cooke's true potential and part in the team.
Cooke had the option to earn a deal for next season, whether that was at Trinity or another club.
On 12 January 2012 Cooke signed for Championship 1 side Doncaster, after fans and sponsors agreed to pay half his salary. He will combine playing for the club with a full-time job in their development department. He has also signed as a backs coach for Doncaster Knights, the town's rugby union club, for the 2013/14 season.
- "St Helens 26-4 Hull FC". BBC News. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Cooke secures switch to Hull KR BBC News - 27 April 2007
- "Cooke seals Wildcats switch". Sky Sports. 19 March 2010.
- "Hull stun Leeds in Challenge Cup". BBC News. 27 August 2005.