913 Liam Cooper

Biography

Defender Liam David Ian Cooper was born in Hull, his father operated pilot ships on the Humber. Liam attended Malet Lambert School and was the stand-out youth player of his cohort, making his senior City debut in the League Cup a few days before his 17th birthday.  His development continued as City struggled in their second Premier League season and Cooper was memorably drafted into the City back four in a September 2009 match at Anfield that saw him paired with Ibrahima Sonko to resist the musings of internationals Fernando Torres, Stephen Gerrard and Ryan Babel amongst others – the Tigers went down 1-6 but Cooper acquitted himself well.

The Tigers were relegated at the end of the 2009/10 season and returned to the Championship, but for two seasons Cooper was unable to establish a regular first team slot, instead gaining experience from loan spells. Between January and March 2011 he joined League One side Carlisle United, in 7 appearances he scored on his debut against Bristol Rovers and was sent off in his final match against Peterborough United. Liam spent three months on loan at Huddersfield Town, another League One club, between August and November 2011 but managed only seven appearances in that time. He ended the 2011/12 season with a run of seven starts in the City defence under manager Nick Barmby, but when Steve Bruce took over in the 2012 close season Cooper was again out of the first team picture.

In November 2012 Liam joined League Two side Chesterfield, initially on loan then on a permanent deal in January 2013. At Chesterfield Liam was a first team regular for the first time in his career and he flourished, his form matching that of his club as the Spireites narrowly missed out on a play-off berth in May 2013 then won the League Two title a year later – Chesterfield also reached the Football League Trophy final in March 2014 only to lose 1-3 to Peterborough United. When Liam started the opening match of Chesterfield’s 2014/15 League One campaign he made his 80th appearance for the club, during which he scored six goals.

In August 2014 Championship side Leeds United paid £500,000 for Liam’s services, which eventually became £750,000 when Leeds were promoted to the Premier League six years later. Cooper slotted straight into the back four after his debut against Middlesbrough, within six months he had been named club captain and for two seasons he was a regular starter as Leeds drifted around the middle of the Championship table. During the 2016/17 season he played a support role to first choice centre backs Sol Bamba and Pontus Jansson, but was restored to the first eleven during the next three seasons as Leeds slowly climbed the table, losing the play-off semi-final in May 2019 to an eagle-eyed Derby County then claiming the Championship title a year later. With Leeds restored to the top flight for the first time in sixteen years, Cooper was a regular starter during two seasons in the Premier League although short term injuries dogged his consistency at times. By the end of the 2022/23 season, when Leeds United were relegated back to the Championship, Cooper had scored ten goals in 265 senior appearances for the club over an nine season spell.

Cooper qualified for Scotland through his paternal grandfather and he plumped to represent Scotland rather than England at an early age, while at Hull City. He made his Scotland under-17 debut in March 2008 and in May 2008 he won four of his five under-17 caps in the 2008 Under-17 European Championships played in Turkiye. He added a single Under-19 cap in September 2009 but had to wait seven years before he was drafted into the Scotland senior squad five times between March 2016 and November 2017, although on each occasion he was an unused substitute. It took until September 2019 for Liam to win his first senior cap against Russia and by June 2023 his tally had risen to 16 senior caps.

Details

Nationality: Scotland
Date/Place of Birth: 30 August 1991, Hull
Hull City First Game: 26 August 2008, Swansea City A (League Cup Second Round), 16 years, 362 days old
Hull City Final Game: 28 April 2012, West Ham United A (Championship), 20 years, 242 days old

Clubs

Hull City (2007-2013), Carlisle United (2011, loan), Huddersfield Town (2011, loan), Chesterfield (2012-2013, loan), Chesterfield (2013-2014), Leeds United (2014-current)

Hull City Record

Career: 17 apps, 0 goals

Liam Cooper
SeasonLGE
App
LGE
Gls
FAC
App
FAC
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FLC
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FLC
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EUR
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OTH
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2008/091 (0)0
2009/101 (1)02 (0)0
2010/112 (0)01 (0)0
2011/127 (0)02 (0)0
2012/13

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