Harry Cookson

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Harry "Gyp" Cookson
Personal information
Full name James Henry Cookson
Date of birth (1869-01-28)28 January 1869
Place of birth Blackpool, England
Date of death 27 May 1922(1922-05-27) (aged 53)
Place of death Blackpool, England
Playing position Forward
Youth career
South Shore
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1887–1888 Burslem Port Vale 0 (0)
1888–1890 South Shore
1890–1892 Blackpool
1892–1893 Accrington 27 (14)
1893–1896 Blackpool
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James Henry Cookson (28 January 1869 — 27 May 1922), better known as Harry "Gyp" Cookson, was an English professional footballer. A forward, he played for South Shore, Burslem Port Vale, Blackpool, and Accrington.

Playing career[edit]

Cookson began his career with South Shore (a club that would merge with Blackpool F.C. in 1900), making his debut on 11 September 1886, before joining Burslem Port Vale in late August 1887, along with his teammate Richard Elston. Cookson scored 23 goals in 33 friendlies to become the club's top-scorer in the 1887–88 season.[1] Both Cookson and Elston returned to South Shore in the summer of 1888, and were members of the team that beat Fleetwood Rangers 6–1 to win the Fylde Cup in 1888.

He fell out with South Shore at the end of the 1889–90 season, and signed with non-League Blackpool on 2 April. He made his debut for the "Seasiders" at the start of the following 1890–91 campaign, in a 5–1 defeat at Heywood Central on 6 September. By December, he had been re-signed for another season for fifteen shillings a week.

In May 1892, he joined Accrington (in part-exchange for full-back Jerry Morgan) for £40. His first official game was against the club he had just left, on 1 September; Blackpool won 4–2. He went on to make a further 26 league appearances, scoring fourteen goals. He played in the test match defeat to Sheffield United at Trent Bridge that saw Accrington relegated out of the First Division.[2] This was his final appearance for the club.

In May 1893, he returned to Blackpool. His first comeback game for the club was against Accrington, a 3–1 victory on 2 September. He scored over twenty goals during the 1893–94 season. He played his final game for Blackpool on 25 April 1896, in a 3–1 defeat to Darwen.

Personal and later life[edit]

Outside of football, Cookson was a builder and contractor. His father, Thomas, had built, amongst other things, the Clifton Arms Hotel.

Cookson married Polly Castle at South Shore's Holy Trinity Church on 28 January 1895 and honeymooned later the same day in London.

Cookson died on 27 May 1922, aged 53. He was survived by his widow, two sons and two daughters. He was buried at Layton cemetery. After his death, his widow became vice-chairman of South Shore, and one of his sons played for the club.



Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Accrington 1892–93 First Division 27 14 2 1 1 0 30 15


  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 66. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ Denis Clarebrough and Andrew Kirkham (1999). A Complete Record of Sheffield United Football Club: 1889–1999. Hallamshire Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-9508588-2-X. 
  3. ^ Harry Cookson profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)