William Cope (footballer)
|Full name||William Arthur Cope|
|Date of birth||25 November 1884|
|Place of birth||Stoke-upon-Trent, England|
|Date of death||18 February 1937(aged 52)|
|Place of death||Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, England|
|1904–1907||Burslem Port Vale||73||(1)|
|1914–1922||West Ham United||137||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
William Arthur Cope (25 November 1884 – 18 February 1937) was an English footballer who played as a full-back. He played 287 league games in the Football League over a nineteen-year professional career.
He joined Burslem Port Vale in August 1904, and spent three seasons with the club, moving on to Stoke after Port Vale resigned from the Football League. Stoke also resigned from the league in 1908, and he moved on to Oldham Athletic. He spent six years with the club, helping the club win promotion out of the Second Division in 1909–10, and to compete for the First Division title. He switched to West Ham United in 1914, and spent eight years with the club, helping the club to the wartime London Combination title in 1916–17. During this time West Ham moved from the Southern League to the Football League. He served the club as captain in 1921–22. He ended his career at Wrexham at the end of the 1922–23 campaign.
Cope joined Second Division Burslem Port Vale from Mount Pleasant in August 1904. He played 25 games in 1904–05, scoring once in a 3–3 with Lincoln City at Sincil Bank. The "Valeites" fared poorly, and finished third from bottom in the Football League, ahead of only Burton United and Doncaster Rovers. Cope was a key part of the club's 1905–06 campaign, playing 38 games alongside defensive partner James Hamilton. He played seventeen games in 1906–07, but left the Athletic Ground after the club resigned from the league. In his three seasons at the club he made 80 appearances (73 in the league) and scored one league goal.
He signed with nearby Stoke, also of the Second Division, and played 31 league and cup games in 1907–08. He was again without a club at the end of the season, as Stoke also resigned from the league due to financial difficulties.
He left the Potteries and moved on to Oldham Athletic. The "Latics" finished sixth in 1908–09, and finished as runners-up in 1909–10 (one point behind champions Manchester City), thereby winning promotion to the First Division. Oldham pushed on in 1910–11, and posted a seventh-place finish. However they struggled in 1911–12, surviving relegation by finishing just one point ahead of Preston North End. Athletic then finished ninth in 1912–13 and fourth in 1913–14. He had played 62 league games for the club, scoring one goal.
Cope signed with West Ham United as World War I began. The "Hammers" finished fourth in the Southern Football League in 1914–15, and Cope made 33 appearances. He was with West Ham for the duration of the war, and made 111 wartime appearances; the club won the London Combination in 1916–17 and were elected to the Football League in 1919. West Ham posted a seventh-place finish in 1919–20 and a fifth-place finish in 1920–21. Cope was appointed as club captain for the 1921–22 season, and led the "Hammers" to a fourth-place finish. He left the club at the end of the season; over the course of the three Football League campaigns he made 114 appearances.
- Sourced from William Cope profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
|Burslem Port Vale||1904–05||Second Division||22||1||2||0||24||1|
|Oldham Athletic||1908–09||Second Division||3||0||0||0||3||0|
|West Ham United||1914–15||Southern League||31||0||2||0||33||0|
|Wrexham||1922–23||Third Division North||13||0||0||0||13||0|
- with Oldham Athletic
- with West Ham United
- Billy Cope West Ham stats at westhamstats.info