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"It’s a great little stadium and I enjoyed playing there, every minute. The fans were always chanting loudly"

Dave Cooper discusses some of his first, best and worst City moments

23 May 2018

Making 39 appearances for City, Dave Cooper joined the club in August 1991 after being picked up following his release from Luton Town.

The defender spent four seasons with City, often in the reserve side during his early days with the club. He made is first team debut on New Year’s Day in 1992, but after departing City at the end of the 1994/95 season, Cooper went on to represent Hitchin Town. He featured in an FA Cup upset for the Hertfordshire side as they beat Bristol Rovers in 1995.

Ben Strange caught up with the former defender to discuss his time at St James Park.

First...                                               

...match for Exeter City

My first game proper game was against Torquay United away from home. We lost 1-0 and it was a difficult occasion, nonetheless I still enjoyed playing my first match for the club.

...footballing idol

I’d have to say Bryan Robson because he was all about hard work and got stuck in. He was a complete footballer.

...memories of St James Park

It was brilliant there. It’s a great little stadium and I enjoyed playing there, every minute. The fans were always chanting loudly.

Best...

...friend at the club

I’d have to say I got on best with Jon Brown and John Hodge. I should also mention Alan Tonge because I used to live with him, he’ll kill me if I don’t mention him! They were the main people that I used to spend a lot of time with whilst I was at the club.

...game/goal at the club

Unfortunately, the closest I got to scoring was when I missed a sitter against Fulham! But in terms of a match, I particularly enjoyed the FA Cup match against Portsmouth as I had to man-mark Darren Anderton. I felt that was a good performance because I stopped him from scoring. Another match that sticks in the memory was when we drew with Fulham 1-1 at home where I set up our goal for Steve Moran.

...player you played with

I’d probably go with Scott Hiley, he always guaranteed you an eight out of 10 performance every week.

Worst...

...match for the club

That’s a tough one but I’d probably say after making my return from suspension I was then sent off again whilst playing against Mansfield Town away from home. That wasn’t very clever of me.

...moment for City

Breaking my leg. I had a double compound fracture in a match against Yeovil Town. It wasn’t a dirty tackle from their player, but the bone came out the side of my leg which meant I was out of action for 15 months. That has to be the worst.

...decision gone against you

I suppose I’d have to refer back to the sending off against Mansfield. That was a harsh decision, but other than that I don’t think I was on the receiving end of any really bad decisions.

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