Brief profile of Jack Cope
by Dr.A.K.Hignell

Player:JJ Cope

Jack Cope was brought up in Ebbw Vale, where he showed great promise as a schoolboy cricketer and footballer. He initially played for Llanelli AFC and then in 1934 signed professional terms with Bury, and for the next few years he mixed playing League football for Bury and latterly Ipswich Town, with cricket for Radcliffe in the Lancashire Leagues, Ebbw Vale in South Wales and also Monmouthshire.


In June 1935 the right-hander shared an opening stand of 230 with Len Pitchford for Ebbw Vale, and within a few weeks, Cope was playing for Glamorgan. However, it only came about as a result of some generosity by his Monmouthshire colleague T.B. Williams who was originally sounded out by Maurice Turnbull to be a late replacement in the Glamorgan side to travel to Tunbridge Wells to play Kent.


Knowing of Cope`s prolific form for Ebbw Vale, Williams declined the offer, and suggested to Turnbull that Cope should play instead. The net result was that Cope travelled overnight by train to the south-east and despite being virtually unknown to his team-mates, he made his Glamorgan debut scoring 2 and 8. Cope played again later in the season against Hampshire at the Arms Park, and also appeared in several 2nd XI matches in 1936.


Despite good form in club cricket, Cope opted to concentrate on his football career, and he came close to winning a Welsh cap. He was chosen to play in the international against Ireland, but only hours before kick-off, the selectors realised that he had been born in England and was therefore ineligible to play. Cope played for Cardiff City during their wartime friendlies, before securing a coaching post with the Cardiff club.


(December 2003)

(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)


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