April 28, 1990, remains one of the finest days in Exeter City's history as, on the back of an incredible home record, we secured our first title in our club's history. During this month we will be taking a look back - in alphabetical order - of the main players in that title winning side. This time we look at a reliable and versatile player who made 20 appearances during the title winning campaign.
89/90 LEAGUE APPEARANCES: Three
There wasn't just one member of the Cooper family that contributed to City's title win, as the manager's son played his own unqiue role during his debut season as a first team footballer.
Mark Cooper started his career as a trainee with Bristol City but never made any first-team appearances for the club, and after two seasons with the Robins his father signed him for Exeter City in October 1989.
He made his Grecians debut in a 4-3 defeat at Peterborough United in October 1989, and celebrated his first start as a professional footballer in December by heading City into the lead against Maidstone in the FA Cup.
With starts limited at St James Park, Mark went on to Southend United, where he made five further career appearances, including one against City, which gave him the distinction of playing both for and against the champions.
However, his contributions to the Grecians did not end there, as his move to Birmingham City in September 1991 saw the legendary Eamon Dolan moving the other way to start his impactful association with our club.
It was also not the last time that Mark would play an valuable role for Exeter City, as following spells with Fulham, Huddersfield, and Wycombe Wanderers, he returned to Devon for a second time.
During this period at the Park, the fans would see much more of the midfielder in action, as he went on to make 88 appearances – scoring 20 goals – between 1994 and 1996, before moving to Hartlepool in July 1996.
Later he would also emulate his father by managing at St James Park - albeit for an opposition side - with the latest occasion being City’s 1-0 victory against Forest Green in December 2019.
This article has been created using material from the Grecian Archive and ECFC Museum as part of the 'Celebrating our Heritage' programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by the University of Exeter.