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David Cook obit - Stratford loses one of its finest ever sportsmen

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ONE of Stratford's finest ever sportsmen has died at the age of 85.

David Roland Cook pictured, left, with his brothers Michael and Douglas. Photo: Taken from the Stratford RFC history books.
David Roland Cook pictured, left, with his brothers Michael and Douglas. Photo: Taken from the Stratford RFC history books.

David Roland Cook passed away on 20th December 2021 and will be fondly remember for his fine sporting exploits from the late 1950s through to the 1970s.

David was the proverbial all-rounder, having played full-back at a high level of rugby and county cricket for Warwickshire. He also spearheaded the Stratford attack through many successful years for the Swans Nest Lane club. He also played club cricket for Coventry & North Warwickshire.

The brother of fellow county cricketer Michael, David was a left-arm fast medium bowler and made his first-class debut for Warwickshire against Oxford University in 1962.

His next appearance for the county was in 1967 against Middlesex in the County Championship.

He made a further seven first-class appearances for Warwickshire, the last of which came against Kent in 1968.

In his nine first-class Warwickshire appearances, David scored 108 runs at an average of 13.50 with a high score of 28 not out.

With the ball he took 23 wickets at an average of 23.21 with a best return of 4-66.

David – who batted right-handed – also made a single List A appearance for Warwickshire against Somerset in the 1967 Gillette Cup.

His only wicket in the match was that of Mervyn Kitchen, while with the bat he was run out for three as Somerset won the game by 23 runs.

David was a big lover of cricket and took up umpiring for the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League after his playing days.

As an umpire, he was never afraid to make a decision in favour of the bowler and didn’t suffer fools gladly.

The epitome of a “poacher turned game-keeper”, he was very critical of player behaviour in recent years but earned much respect amongst colleagues for his outspoken views on the subject.

David is also mentioned quite frequently in the 1880-1959 history books at Stratford Rugby Club.

He played regularly for the Black and Whites and in one SCUF fixture at Pearcecroft in 1958, it was reported his excellent kicking contributed to the 14-3 victory for Stratford.

By the time the rugby club's history was published in 1960, David had moved to Coventry RFC where he went on to achieve further success.

He also played for the Midland Counties side against a touring South African side on 28th December 1960.

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