Almanac Rugby League: Farewell Gavin Cooper

Gavin Cooper


Every team wants to have players like Gavin Cooper – loyal, reliable, energetic, fearless, skilful, resilient, a team player, a workhorse and a bloody good bloke to boot! They don’t come around too often so you treasure them while you can.


I first saw him play around about 2003/4 when he was at the Redcliffe Dolphins. His older brother Dustin also played for Redcliffe. He was a big, raw-boned kid who, quite obviously, could really play. Then he was off to the Cowboys before stints at Penrith, the Titans and then back at the Cowboys. By the time it all ends next week, he will have played over 320 First Grade games in the NRL as well as 6 matches for the Maroons (Queensland State of Origin player #185).


Gavin must have thought all his Christmases had come at once in his second stint at the Cowboys. Playing on the left edge, he formed a remarkable combination with Johnathan Thurston, frequently scoring tries off a short pass or a grubber kick from JT. At the end of the 2018 season, he scored tries in 9 successive matches, the most ever by a forward, surpassing the record set by Immortal Frank Burge exactly 100 years earlier. The 2015 premiership with North Queensland was probably the highlight of his playing career.


In recent times, players of a similar ilk who come to mind include Ryan Hoffman, Nathan Hindmarsh, Josh Jackson and John Sutton, just to name a few. Not bad company, eh?


Well played, Gavin Cooper, and thank you.


Read an overview of Gavin Cooper’s career by clicking here.

Read the official NRL profile of Gavin Cooper by clicking here.

Watch a short video created to mark Gavin Cooper’s 300th match by clicking here.


Photo courtesy


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