Did You Know...

...that Chelsea's legendary winger Charlie Cooke was an avid Morton supporter as a boy and counted Jimmy Cowan as one of his heroes?

I'm currently reading Cooke's autobiography The Bonnie Prince in which he talks at length about growing up in Greenock, attending Greenock High School and supporting Morton. It's obvious he's very proud of where he comes from and the team he supported as a boy as he constantly refers back to the town and team throughout the book.

Here's a couple of excerpts:

"Greenock Morton was our team... By the time I started attending matches, when I was six or so, the club had already touched greatness - the Scottish Cup victory was still very clear in the memories of the older supporters - but it very much retained it's local feel and played many local men. Those same older supporters who would regale us with the glory of the cup win would also tell us about a time, not so long before, when a local butcher incentivised the players by offering a leg of lamb to any goal-scorer and when the pitch was also used to graze a flock of lambs during the week."

"If in our hero-worshipping young eyes Jimmy [Cowan] was our most illustrious asset, he did not overshadow the other players, and I can see their cigarette-card faces now and even recall their styles of play and characteristics. Tommy McGarrity was a scheming wing-half / inside-forward; Davie Cupples a quick centre-forward; Tommy Orr a tall, leggy wing half (today we'd call him a midfielder); Billy Campbell an elegant inside-forward; Willie Whigham the journeyman full-back; Johnny Hannigan a sparkling ball-playing right-winger and centre-forward and who can forget Jimmy White?"

"Saturday and a Morton home game was always a big day. I can dimly remember the first time I went to a match, walking down Gibshill Road in my mackintosh and sou'wester ('Rain, rain go to Spain', remember), turning down Weir Street to Sinclair Street and on down under the railway bridge to the main gate. Later when we had moved across town to Thom Street, Dad and I would walk down to the West Station to catch one of the special Cappielow buses."

Cooke never played for Morton but did play against us in our only tie in European competition. He scored one in Chelsea's 5-0 win at Stamford Bridge but missed the second leg at Cappielow.

Charlie Cooke was born in St. Monance, Fife. His mother was from the tiny fishing village and his father was from Greenock. He lived there until he was three years old and his family moved back to Greenock where he was raised and lived until he moved to Aberdeen as a 17 year old. In his football career he played for: Port Glasgow Rangers, Renfrew Juniors, Aberdeen, Dundee, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Chelsea, LA Aztecs, Memphis Rogues, California Surf and won 16 caps for Scotland.

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