Thomas Cook

COOK, THOMAS E. R., died at Brighton on January 15, aged 48. Educated at the Brighton Municipal School, he was one of the finest all-rounders Sussex has produced. He played his early cricket and football for his native Cuckfield, and, after service with the Royal Navy during the first World War, became a professional for Sussex in 1922. Thus began a long and notable career which did not end until 1937, when he accepted a coaching appointment in Cape Town. Cook was a stylish, free-scoring batsman, who played many glorious innings.

Wisden said of him in 1935: "Cook was one of the few batsmen in England who showed a proper conception of the right way to play slow bowling. Not many players, when jumping to drive, so completely got to the pitch of the ball as he did." He made his highest score, 278, off the Hampshire bowlers at Hove, in 1930, and recorded two other scores of over 200, both against Worcestershire, 220 at Worcester in 1934 and 214 at Eastbourne in 1933. Altogether Cook scored 20,206 runs, including 31 hundreds, and held 153 catches, many of them in the outfield, where his speed and anticipation saved innumerable runs.

When the recent war started he joined the South African Air Force, and while serving with them was seriously injured in an accident at the air school in 1943. He spent nearly six months in hospital. Cook was also a fine footballer, and as a professional with Brighton and Hove Albion gained an international cap for England against Wales in 1925. After leading the Albion attack for six seasons he went to Bristol Rovers, but returned as team manager of Brighton in 1946-47.

© John Wisden & Co