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Nick Cooper – tribute


4/1/1955 – 29/11/2014


Nick has very tragically been taken from us a few weeks before his 60th birthday, but was blessed with the priceless gift of always making people smile.

When Nick’s parents, Beryl and Alan, decided that the second name of their first son would be in honour of Frank Tyson who took 7-27 to win the Melbourne Test for England against Australia on the day Nick was born, it was perhaps inevitable that cricket would become a major influence in Nick’s life.

 Nick left Whitgift School in 1971 and immediately joined the OWCC where he was to become one of the club’s great characters. An attacking opening bat who relished fast bowling, Nick soon became the life and soul of the club, particularly in Cricket Weeks where he would often move into one of the dressing rooms for the week and scored several high-quality 100’s when in his twenties – no mean achievement when considering his maximum contribution in the bar long into the night. 

 Nick subsequently skippered both the 2nd XI (1993-1994) and the 1stXI (1995-1996) when he would reward his side for league victories with a ‘jug of your choice’.  Many will remember fondly his legendary bar antics, including of course his inimitable rendition of his party piece ‘The Beastie’.

 Nick played well into his fifties, even opening the batting for the Whitgift Cricketer Cup side against Sherborne in 2008 aged 53.  Nick also of course was a much-loved member of the Paralytics and also turned out for the Nomads and Ardingly CC.

After his serious accident in 2010 and subsequent long road to recovery, Nick’s life changed for ever and he devoted most of his time to his love of painting and of course visiting what became his second home, Lord’s.

He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his brother Nigel and the rest of his family at this very sad time.

Please feel free to share tributes and memories of Nick

Nick’s Benefit Match


72 Responses

  1. Tributes to Nick on Facebook

    Glenn Tullett‎
    RIP Nick, you were my introduction to the OWRFC As back in the early 80’s.
    My first tour to Ireland included a Coops moment, climbing up the flood lights, while waiting for the ferry, to entertain the crowds.
    Always a friend and great bloke.
    ….Chris Wrigglesworth‎
    Wonderful memories of Nick doing the Zulu Warrior in the old West Stand Bar at Twickenham!

    Kate Wrigglesworth Yes, bless you Nick for the entertainment in the above bar and all the laughs, especially on tour.

    Grant Durose‎
    Very sad news to hear of Nicks passing. I lived with him in 1995 for a season and couldn’t have asked for a better host and friend whilst abroad. I know how fond the team was of him- he will be sorely missed. RIP Coops !

    Simon Hill‎
    RIP Nick. A fantastic cricket man who made playing at the Old Whits the fun and enjoyable experience that cricket should be. I am sure all those in heaven will look forward to being educated on the benefits of playing in the ‘reverse V’

    Rob Targett
    So many fun times mate
    Thank goodness I’ve got your best man speech on DVD

    Michael Butler
    RIP Nick. You will be sadly kissed by those in the rugby club as well.

    Sean Coughlan
    ‪#‎putoutyourbats‬ for Nick Cooper
    RIP mate.
    I last bumped into him in the pavilion at lords in the summer during the test. He’s went on to say he’d bumped into one of our old team mates the week before , I said who ? He said, I’m buggered if I can remember his name ! What was he like I said , re replied a bowler , an Indian guy. I reeled off a few names to no prevail and I said you’re going to have to describe him better to which he relpied,you know him , never stopped talking and ears like an elephant !!!
    Oh Rupesh !! Hahaha he never lost his sense of humour !!

    JimBo Genius!
    Sad loss

    Ali Raja Very sad loss.

    Mark Anthony Kelly Loved his company. Great man

    Nick Cross‎
    Terrible news to hear of your passing this morning. You gave us many great memories from the cricket pitch, the good lawning van and your presence in the bar! Always the first to look our for the younger old whits, you will be missed by many….RIP Coops.

    Andrew Rolfe A true gent and a great club man. His late night haka was a marvel! RIP Nick.

    Sean Coughlan
    RIP Nick Cooper
    You were a wonderful ,warm , gentle , funny and sweet man , did I mention bloody funny !!!
    You’ll be sadly missed xx

    Dale Quartey I didn’t expect to wake up to that. RIP Coops……..BEASTIE!

    Susie Stuart RIP Coops xxx

    Gary Boniface Very sad news. My sincere condolences to the family.

    Kevin Shah Sorry to hear this, RIP Coops

    Caroline Hurney‎
    I have no words that begin to describe how I feel at the loss of my dearest friend Coops X

    Chris Mastin
    #putyourbatout. In memory of Phil Hughes and closer to home Nick Cooper

    ———— Tom Allen Nice one
    ———— Tom Platts Good one, mate.
    ———— Elizabeth Nield A great tribute both these lovely guys will be missed so much,

    James Goatcher
    Very sad news. 50 years of friendship from the Lower Firsts at Whitgift to a lovely trip to Lords in September. Even the Golly rugby tour to Holland. As Chris Mastin said everyone will have some great memories of Nick Cooper

    Chris Mastin
    RIP Nick Cooper. An absolute legend and I know a lot of the guys will have some great memories of one of the best. Nick was someone who always made you smile. Naked Beastie anyone??!!

    Sean Coughlan Maybe we can do a replay of the old Whits v old Whits as a memorial game again ?

    >>>>Jo McNamara Very sad day #owccbeastie. RIP Coops
    >>>>Lucie Johnson-Hird Good idea Sean – with a naked beastie at the end.

    Neil Gardner
    Heard the sad news from Springer, and like most, I only have great memories of the Good Lawning and Old Whits days with Coops – a genuine top bloke who lived life to the full, always with a smile on his face and a laugh not far away. RIP mate.

    Nick Flood
    Very sad news. RIP Nick

    Ian Walters
    Just heard the very sad news that Nick Cooper died this morning of a suspected brain seizure. What an amazing gentleman, cricket fanatic and dear friend. He will be sorely missed. RIP. Ian and Denise.

    Alex Hobbs How desperately sad.. RIP Nick, the Beastie will forever live on

    Simon Letchford So sorry to read this news. A great man.

  2. Nick was so much to so many growing up through the Cricket Club – a wonderful Character will will never be replaced

  3. RIP Nick. I shall never forget the laughs we had on rugby tours in the UK and Holland and also in Cricket Week. My sons Jamie and Andrew also remember the fun they had working with you on wicket construction. You were a star. David & Sue

  4. Engand v West Indies at Lord’s 1973. After half an hour (and a couple of pints) in our seats in the stand, Nick suggests we go and sit among the West Indies fans on the grass in front of the Tavern. Another six pints and a couple of bottles of port later we stumble out of Lord’s and end up in a failed attempt to break into Barts Hospital Nurses Flats – as one did in those days. I found out the next day that I’d missed Kanhai and Sobers on the way to a record partnership on their final. A great day with a wonderful bloke.

  5. Always excellent company, a great entertainer and one of life’s genuinely nice guys, you will be remembered for not only your antics but also for your kindness and generosity. I will always remember you sliding down the stairs of a Torquay hotel on a serving tray – one of many such incidents over the years! Cooper – a one off who will be sorely missed by many. Simon Brown

  6. I’ve known Nick for over forty years. Initially we were cricketing opponents and shared many a long night in the bars of both Old Whits and Beddington in those balmy days when teams actually socialised with each other and stayed late in each other’s clubhouse. We became cricketing colleagues through the Paralytics CC and this cemented a long friendship. Latterly I have been a tenant in Nick’s house leaving only at the end of September. I saw Nick last Thursday and he was in good spirits and greatly looking forward to the Paralytics Christmas Supper this coming Friday at the Civil Service Club.
    Before his tragic accident Nick was the archetypical lovable rogue who seemed to be the architect of any mischief that was occuring. However his strength of character and determination came to the fore in his incredible recovery, albeit limited, from his near fatal accident. From the dark days when most had given him no chance of survival right up to the end he enjoyed the incredible and selfless support of Amanda without whom his life would have been extremely difficult.
    On a final personal note I have an everlasting reminder of Nick in the shape of a small scar on my nose as the result of a clash of heads whilst acting as a catcher when he was performing his infamous Beastie late one night at Beddington.
    God Bless you Nick!

  7. As a friend for more years than I care to remember, both at Lord’s and here in Malta, Nick was a “larger than life” character with immense talent and a joy for life. My life is very much emptier for his passing. Till we meet again my Friend………………..

  8. Nick was surely the funniest and most entertaining Old Whitgiftian of all time. There are so many hilarious memories.
    Those present in the Club Continental, The Hague, on the OW centenary tour of 1978 will never forget Nick’s impromptu appearance on stage with one of the dancers! Many had tears rolling down their face and the club manager actually offered Nick a job afterwards!
    In the early 80’s Roger Dancey was skippering the side in a big game against Surrey Club & Ground before a large crowd at Croham Road. With the game petering out into a draw the skipper threw the ball to Cooper for the last over and he proceeded to bowl an over of side splitting impressions including Stanley Subba Row, myself and of course Bob Willis off his full run up! I’m not sure the Club & Ground players found it as amusing as everyone else especially Bobby Lowe who was bowled by Bob Willis!
    During one late night after a Cricket Week game at Croham Road, Nick decided to perform his own version of the Indian rope trick and actually pulled the entire boundary rope into the Ellis Room bar. The bar area was literally full of rope. The next day Nick had rope burns on his hands!

  9. Apart from the non stop laughs, Nick was also a great friend to many of us, very generous and in my case an excellent best man. His sheer love of life was infectious, he had a terrific charisma that rubbed off on all those who knew him.
    RIP Nick you will never be forgotten.

  10. Sad to hear about Nick …..Wonderfull Person…..had some good memories at whits specially his Beastie….also thanks for teaching me how to keep the lawn green ……..R.I.P Coops.

  11. Peter Rice (alias Pilau)
    How we will miss Coops. Be it on the infamous Dulwich Tour’s to South Wales, at the various Paralytic functions, at the O.W.’s club, or just in a small gathering, Coops made everyone smile, laugh & even cry (with laughter). Larger than life describes him perfectly.

  12. So sad.
    Like so many of you I have over 40 years of wonderful memories of Nick. Some can’t be repeated, but like Jeremy Stanyard I have memories of a Benson and Hedges Cup final in 1981 where Nick and I ran into a crowd from the Old Ardinians. We spent the day with them and not surprisingly were somewhat worse for wear as we left. Driving back(!) Nick fell asleep in the passenger seat with his eyes open! Not a pretty sight, but one he repeated on more than one occasion!
    Memories of cricket tours (especially The Hague and the Continental Club), cricket weeks and his late night performances on the bar will forever stay with me.

    A great entertainer, talented sportsman, brave batsman and good friend. All in all a true legend. RIP

  13. What a character!
    He was at my 21st birthday celebration in London. At Victoria Station on the way home, he decided to climb into a large waste bin, and start conducting the late-night crowds. He then leaned over too far, fell out, and prompted a Tannoy announcement that boomed across the station “Serves you right!”.
    And then, on the way back from a day at the Oval in the late 1970’s, he decided to moon out of the back of the car, as we were driving through Brixton, of all places!! So many great memories…..
    A true Old Whitgiftian in every sense of the word, you will be missed by everyone who knew you..
    RIP, Nick.

  14. RIP NIck. As a Stoic Nick and I spent many happy hours together including a memorable journey down to Kent by train when the bottle of port we started out with seemed to have disappeared by the time we got down to the team hotel.

    Would much appreciate someone sending me the funeral details soonest – thanks.

    Keith Letchford

  15. One of the best blokes I have ever know, in so many ways.
    RIP, Golly

  16. A wonderful OW who entertained clubs both home and away and across different sports.

  17. A true entertainer and great bloke who loved the game. The Beastie in cricket week and trips to Lords will live long in the memory!
    RIP Nick

  18. Happy Memories of times at Old Whits Para’s games and other occasions. R.I.P Nick from Sue, Matt and Lucy x

  19. The above comment from Sue Adamson (Offer)

  20. Wonderful and varied memories of playing cricket, rugby; and so, so much fun and mischief over the years. Clifton Suspension Bridge 1973, Holland 1977, and how many others?. RIP Nick, thoughts to Nigel and the family

  21. Very sad news. He was a great entertainer and a lovely bloke to boot.

  22. Jackie Rice (wife of Peter – aka Pilau)
    Really upset to here the news of dear Nick’s passing. He will be sorely missed by a lot of people. He had gone through so much, but always had a wonderful smile which I will always remember. Gone but not forgotten RIP Nick. xx

  23. Lovely chap was Nick and a real team player…on and off the field!

    A couple of quick memories;

    An impromptu performance of “Lola” in the OWCC bar in cricket week.

    A comedy dismissal which livened up a Friday afternoon at Sutton (for The Paralytics). The mind was willing but the legs weren’t and much to everyone’s amusement (including his own…) Nick was duly run-out by the length of the pitch.

  24. I first met Nick in 1971 when he joined OWCC and his Dad, Alan suggested that I might look after him on away games – I did – and frequently poured him through the front door into Alan’s arms whilst beating a hasty retreat. A shame he could not write a guide of how to pour 100 years of living into 59. Farewell good friend – I’m sure they are already laughing on the other side!!

  25. Nick was the first person I met at Whitgift and I will always remember walking down the school drive on the way home after our first day. We spent a lot of time together as young boys. He was someone I would never and could never forget even though I have lived thousands of miles from Croydon since 1982. By that time he was already a “legend” and I am only sorry that I was not able to enjoy more of his company and antics. I can hear his laugh now….

  26. From: Alan Sacks – Nick was the first person I met at Whitgift and I will always remember walking down the school drive on the way home after our first day. We spent a lot of time together as young boys. He was someone I would never and could never forget even though I have lived thousands of miles from Croydon since 1982. By that time he was already a “legend” and I am only sorry that I was not able to enjoy more of his company and antics. I can hear his laugh now….

  27. People say there is no ‘i’ in team , so its quite ironic there is an ‘i’ in Nick, as he was the ultimate team man. Adored by everyone he played with, always at the centre of any prank that was occuring.

    My memories of Nick are that ageless purple cap, the saggy pads that eventually gave up the ghost, the droopy mustache, the wristy flick through square leg, but most of all that infectious grin, the cheeky laugh and boundless sense of fun.

    Rest in peace Nick, you brightened up the lifes of all who had the pleasure of playing with you.

  28. Desperately sad news but what a character – I was often aching with laughter in his company. To give just one example among thousands: Christmas Eve in the Stag & Hounds pub in about 1976. He rewrote the song The Twelve Days of Christmas to incorporate 12 catch phrases of landlord Peter Fildew, wrote the new lyrics on a flipchart and stood on the bar (fully clothed on this occasion) to get everyone in the pub belting it out at full voice. He enriched the lives of all of us lucky enough to know him – and I started at Whitgift with him in 1965.

    • Paul
      I seem to remember Nick mentioned you in one verse ‘shut up Easterbrook’ plus of course ‘Vera wants me upstairs’ and ‘don’t encourage Marsden’! Can you remember all 12 verses? I also remember the year when Nick dressed up in black tie and tails for his performance on the bar. Nick’s leading of the singing in the Stag were a real highlight of Christmas for many in those years.

  29. Such sad sad news. A man whose legendary character and famous antics were more than matched by his kindness and warmth, always there to look after the younger players, including with the post-match jugs. Memories of the Beastie will forever be seared into the memory.

  30. At a time when English cricket lies firmly in the doldrums, and the sad recent news from down under, another great character is lost to the club game. Very sad news and my personal commiserations to all family, friends and all at OW. RIP Nick.

  31. One of the great characters to tour South Wales and a real loss to his family and extended sporting families whom he always lit up with his smile and humour. You’ll always have a place in our Mumbles hearts. RIP our friend.

  32. More from Facebook:

    Aly Vokes
    Since i woke up this morning I cannot get the beastie out of my head. Iremember getting caught by Nick crumbling some resinous substance in his bread and butter pudding at an OWCC dinner. He switched it with his brothers, who two hrs later believed that he was the sgt major on a parade square. Many happy memories of a man who will be sorely missed by many. RIP

    Simon Letchford
    So sorry to hear of Nick Cooper passing. One of the funniest men I ever met. Rest in peace.
    >>>>>Natalie Lehain Oh that is sad .. He was sooooo funny .RIP

    Jerry Keyte
    Rest In Peace Nick (Golly), you were the funniest person I’ve ever known and always had a kind word for everyone. Thanks for all the great memories – Streaking over Clifton Suspension Bridge, Oil barrel rolling, The Golly Tour and too many more to mention…………….. Take care my friend.

    Katie Eversfield
    Remembering Nick Cooper singing this ..
    Peter Sarstedt – Where Do You Go To My Lovely (1969)
    Some just few memories of my dear friend Nick made me laugh. .We worked together had fun together ..maybe gone in body but never in my mind..A favourite song of his ..where do you go to my lovely? ? God bless and may you rest in peace xxx
    >>>Ruth Brumpton xxxx
    >>>Andrew Smith So so sad
    >>>Amanda Richards God bless my dearest friend. life is not and never will be the same without your smiling face to behold every day xx heartbroken x
    >>>Gail Bradbury So sorry to hear this. Sending big hugs to you both, love Gail & Wayne xx

  33. In his own world, Nick made as big an impact as Philip Hughes. I am not sure what we should all “put out” to celebrate Nick’s life. It was colourful, wholehearted and generous. He will be greatly missed and be remembered as a true Club Man.

    I am sure that members of Dulwich Cricket Club will be saddened to hear that Nick Cooper passed away on Saturday 29th November. Nick was a great stalwart of the Old Whitgiftians but also a frequent visitor and player at Dulwich. Nick joined a number of Dulwich tours to Wales where he was a figure much larger than life both on and off the field. Nick frequently played against Dulwich for the Old Whits but also for the Surrey Paralytics. Anyone who met Nick could not fail to be charmed by his personality and above all his wit. Nick was welcomed in many clubs across Surrey and it was always great to see Nick play or attending the Dulwich Cricket Club dinner and dance. Nick fought back from an appalling accident at work. Nick fell from a tree and after radical neurosurgery recovered remarkably to be seen frequently at Surrey Championship cricket or at Lord’s. The thoughts of Dulwich players are with his family at this time.

    An affectionate tribute and collection of comments and memories of Nick can be found here on the Old Whitgiftians website.

  35. My (first) memories of Nick do go back many a year ….. probably close on 40 years now when I think about it …………. to a series of Christmas Eves down the Stag and Hounds when I was invited by Stuart (Woodrow) to join him for a drink and the anticipated ‘entertainment’. A beer or shandy or two in a packed pub on Christmas Eve …. what could be better than that? Well, what ensued made these particular evenings ‘legendary’ ………….. it was the sight of a grown man dressed in top hat and tails ….. yep the full works, including the white gloves I believe … standing on a chair or was it a table with carefully written posters containing the full words to a variety of well known songs. He then led the increasingly boisterous ensemble in a joint rendition of each song …… some more than once ………….. but the best of all had to be Delilah ………… if I close my eyes I can hear and seen it all again!! Nick always had a smile and a welcome as though you were his long lost best friend – something unique in this day and age. The stories recounted so far are a fitting tribute to the friendships he made over the ears and the happy memories he will leave for so many many people.

  36. Such tragic news on Saturday. The OW and cricketing fraternity lost a great guy. In over 40 years of knowing Nick as a cricketer, rugby player, golfer, tourist and most of all a wonderful, kind and generous friend I will miss him greatly.
    The funniest person I have ever met, he could turn any situation into a comedy sketch. Antics in the bar, beastie, on tour, memories of fun filled test match days at Lords along with Stuart and George Woodrow will never be forgotten.
    I remember vividly the first time I met Nick. It was in the early 1970’s. On the Friday night there had been a “gentlemens” evening at Croham Road and this character decided to join the ladies on-stage. The next day I was playing rugby for the OW Extra B XV and who should be in the changing room? None other than the performer from the previous night. “Hi Nick” I said, “I nearly didn’t recognise you with your clothes on”. That was the start of our years of friendship and fun. Thanks for the memories Nick.
    John Gould

    • For many years Nick, John, my father and myself went to the Thursday or Friday of the Lords Test. These wonderful days started in the era when you could take virtually unlimited supplies of food and drink into the ground. Our day once started with Nick opening the champagne at about 7.30 am on the platform at East Croydon before boarding the train and annoying the FT reading occupants of the first class compartment we ended up in to 20 minutes of Cooper banter and high jinks. Nick then followed this up by accidentally (on purpose) losing the contents of his cool box all over a very crowded escalator at Victoria tube station! A lively start to the day.

  37. Reading these tributes brought back memories of Nick racing into the 90’s with half an hour still to lunch against a very powerful Old Wellingtonians attack with a dazzling display of shots all around the wicket, showing real talent and natural craft. It was the best I ever saw him play. However, as soon as the thought of the treasurered 100 before lunch came into his head he went from a man with every shot in the book to a man who had never read a book in his life! It was real Norman Wisdom stuff as he crawled his way to the treasured landmark..

    But that was Nick, a wonderfully natural sportsman, natural communicator, naturally funny guy for whom things would often go calamatously wrong the minute he started to think too much about them. Im sure the great clubhouse in the sky has already welcomed the great entertainer into its midst.

  38. I first met Nick when I joined the club in 1983. At the time he was at the height of his cricketing powers and it was a shame he could not play for the league team due to Saturday work commitments. However, he was an ever present on Sundays and also came on the Kent tour that year. Nick made that tour for me and his presence at the club was one of the main reasons why I fell in love with the place. I cant think of a better person ever to have with you on a cricket tour anywhere.

    His batting and bowling were both entertaining, but for different reasons. Whilst he was an attacking batsman by nature he also had the technique to play the fastest bowling better than most.

    Goodbye Nick, and thanks for all the memories which will live forever.

  39. I too remember Nicks famous Beastie bringing cricket week to an end at Addiscombe Nicks friendship and wit will be missed by the cricket world
    Wild Ian Turner

  40. Julian Lovatt
    So sad to hear .He was one of life’s real characters .Every moment with him was fun filled and exciting . I have never laughed or at times cringed as much as when in his presence . He was also one of the nicest guys on this planet . Someone whom you could never forget and who leaves memories that last a life time . Thank you Nick for being
    that person

  41. Nick was unique and will never to be forgotten. So many memories. RIP

  42. When I first started playing at the OWs in the late 80s, Nick was one of the guys that took me under his wing and made sure that I had such fun both playing my cricket and socialising afterwards. I remember being a student and one year not having enough money to go on the Hastings tour that the club had organised. Nick suggested that I could paint his house and in return he would cover my tour fee; as you can probably imagine, that week of painting the house was a laugh a minute in itself. As we headed down to Hastings, a couple of the guys decided it would be a good idea to buy a bag of horse manure, and one evening proceed to throw balls of manure at passers-by and parked cars from the third storey window of the sea front hotel. Nick was summoned by the Hotel owner outside to explain where this mess had come from. As Nick was explaining to owner that he had no idea where this mess had come from and how extraordinary it was, he had to dance around in front of the owner, dodging manure balls as they continued to rain down on him from the third storey.
    Thank for your friendship, generosity, and some very funny memories.
    Rob T

  43. Just heard this terrible news , Nick was a real character and a true original, he will be greatly missed
    John and Jackie Carter

  44. Have only known Nick since the late 90’s when I became a paralytic. Sine them I have found him to be a great character who could see the funniest side of every situation and possessed that knack of being able to make even the most miserable people have a good laugh. He’ll be sadly missed by all at OWCC, the Paras and every other cricketing venue he visited. RIP Bryan Liddemore (Also of Addiscombe CC)

  45. A ready wit and always full of laughs. Nick made boring times funny. RIP Nick you will never be forgotten.

  46. Wow, what great memories so many people have! I remember the night at the Continental Club in The Hague, which Stuart Woodrow has already mentioned. My own is a moment during the Centenary tour to India in 1978. The Prime Minister of India at the time recommended drinking one’s own urine for good health. At a formal dinner, Nick stood up and in front of the whole gathering said “Gentlemen, a toast to the Prime Minister of India” then placed his glass in front of his flies. The Old Whits party could barely contain their laughter, but I think some bridge building had to take place the following day. RIP Nick, you are a one-off.
    Chris Jenkins

  47. Rest in peace mate, give the Guv’nor up there a rendition of “Beastie”. No doubt he’ll enjoy as much as we all did. Oh Nick by the way when you bump into Grandad and Bainy as we’re sure you will, give them our fondest regards and when they invite you to that bar in God’s pavilion make sure Bainy stands his corner. Thanks for the memories. God bless you Lennie, Christine and Josh.

  48. Nick came to play for Ardingly CC, joining OWCC exile Rob Targett, in 2008. We enjoyed 3 summers of his company and he was still capable of some very decent innings for us. We all missed him after his devastating accident and everyone at Ardingly CC will remember him very fondly. A man who loved life and loved his cricket.

  49. Very sad news, will be sorely missed by all cricket lovers

  50. Gentlemen …………… though an OW, my cricketing career was played out at on that wonderful wicket at the Ridge in Purley and in the bar thereafter. The word ‘Beastie’ has been mentioned many times here and I regret to say that I never encountered Nick’s performance in this regard!! Please could one or more of you give me a blow by blow account of Nick in full flow i.e. explain what exactly a ‘beastie’ involved??!! Many thanks ……… a shy and retiring PCC member!!!

    • Check out Martin Clews YouTube. Cooper’s was better

      • Thanks SGW ………….just seen one drunken version on a train somewhere …….. it does ring a bell so maybe I did catch Nick in full flow somewhere!!

  51. Very sorry to hear this news.
    I knew Nick through his Dulwich CC connections, and had the pleasure of enjoying his company – on and off the pitch – on tours in South Wales. ‘Coops’ was always the life and soul of the party!
    My thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.

  52. So sad to hear Nick has passed, I knew best when he took me under his wing at Good Lawning for a couple of years… So many hours talking about the merits of different fertilisers, and working out optimum Christmas Tree delivery routes… And of course hearing all the stories from the man himself, don’t suppose anyone knows the truth about these two stories 1 – he was the only man banned from Whitgifts grounds after being expelled because he set alight to his own desk during an exam 2 – there is a plaque at Twickenham giving him credit for introducing ‘Sweet Chariot’ as England’s anthem? Thanks for being a friend when I needed one Coops, Darren

    • I recall Nick was actually banned from the school grounds shortly after his departure from school in 1971. Our whole year group were assembled in Room 5 for a start of term pep talk on entering the sixth form. Suddenly the silence was broken by an almighty, thunderous, crashing nose. The room erupted in laughter and everyone looked at each other in amazement. There was just one word on everyone’s lips…………………………………”COOPER!!!”

      We later found out that Nick had found an old oil drum and rolled it down the bank and across the playground, to maximum effect!

      • Whoops – I meant “noise”, not “nose”!

      • Jerry, I think I seem to remember it was a giant cylindrical waste bin – about 6ft tall. It was very, very loud.
        I also remember desperately trying to sketch a bowl of fruit for my O level Art still life. Once he knew that most people had already started sketching the fruit, Nick leapt up and ate the banana while the invigilator wasn’t looking.
        Like others have said, I can still hear his laugh.
        He will be sorely missed.

  53. Nicks passing is such a sad loss to all who were priveleged to have known him. I would like to extend my special thanks to Amanda who cared for him so brilliantly and enabled Nick to have the best possible quality of life after his devastating accident, and who, even in his darkest days, was there for him willing him to make a recovery. Amanda helped Nick develop his love of painting and he leaves behind some beautiful pictures. A fitting reminder of a truly kind and generous soul.

  54. Well batted Nick, a fine innings indeed. Love you, Ken Anderson

  55. I’m lost for words – but it’s all been said above anyway. Nick was an amazing character, who will be missed by everyone in both the cricket and rugby sections of the OWs. R.I.P., although wherever you are Nick, it won’t be peaceful – you’ll still be livening things up!

  56. From Keith Letchford

    Last Tuesday was a moving and wonderful tribute to Nick. One can only have the highest admiration for Amanda at this time.

    Afterwards I was delighted to meet so many friends from yesteryear and was able to pass on apologies for absence on behalf of my son Simon who also spent many a happy day with Nick at Croham Road.

    Simon and his family now live and work in Brussels so if anyone wishes to make contact with him and remember memorable joint times with Nick please use

    In Brussels Simon is Head Coach at the Royal Racing Hockey Club

  57. Christian Lawrence‎
    I’m so sorry and sad to hear about Nick’s passing. I first met him in 1995 at winter nets at the Oval, the year I think he first captained the 1st XI, and I played cricket with him for 5 years. Such a warm, kind-hearted, outrageously funny, free spirit – and such a pivotal figure at OWCC, (and not just because he could drink more than anyone and do the Beastie)! He had such an incredible ability to get along with everyone, and connect people. He shot me a message completely out of the blue via facebook just a few weeks before he died – our first contact in 15 years since I moved to the US. His note started “I wonder if you remember me” and my reply stated “Nick, you are not someone anybody forgets!”. I now wish deeply I had picked up the phone and called I know he will be deeply missed by many. Sincere condolences to all Nick’s family and close friends – he, and you, are in my foremost thoughts.
    Tom Boyles Nick was certainly someone you could never forget. What a great guy and sadly missed

  58. Even though only knowing Nick since the accident. We had many good times having picnics’ at Lords, and this year dinner at the old whit where we had to sit on separate tables but it never stopped him coming over to see if I was ok the ever loving caring true gentleman until the end . Nick insisted that he introduce me to Ramon Subba Row another gentleman. The last time I saw Nick we had a really good time with a lot of laughter in London Bridge a week before his parting. A True Legend. Love him dearly.
    Best Tina

  59. A really great guy who will be very sadly missed. A true entertainer with a wonderful sense of humour. Really enjoyed catching up with Nick in the past few years at a various different events. RIP Nick.

  60. You may or may not remember us but Stean & I played for the Old Whits back in 1989 after coming over from Perth and New Zealand. We have just now heard of the tragic news of Nicks passing and we would like to send everyone from his family to the Club members and friends our belated condolences.

    We only got to know Nick for one season but it was one full of great memories, some of which sound very familiar when reading through the tribute page. Today, Stean forwarded some photos he had of Nick falling asleep with his eyes open which seems to be a common occurrence in the tributes. I think we even put burnt charcoal from a cork all over his face that night as well. I also recall watching a number of entertaining innings that either got his side out of trouble or put it into a strong match winning position. He was always a true team man who loved the game and the Old Whitgiftians Cricket Club.

    Once again, please pass on our condolences to everyone and we wish the club every success for the coming season which I know will happen. We all know that Nick will be looking down making sure that it does.

    Kind Regards

    John Taylor & Stean Hainsworth

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