Obituary- Peter Cooper

By Tim Mansfield

Peter Bibby Cooper 1930-2022

Peter Cooper was a key figure in the all conquering Windermere cricket club team of the 1950s which won the Westmorland Cricket league championship five times. He captained the the 1956 side and later skippered the 1970 championship team and in 1974 the second team to its first-ever cup success.

The 1950s cohort of players is legendary. As wicket-keeper/batsman Peter was always at the forefront. Forming an uncanny understanding with two outstanding spin bowlers in Peter Bowe and Alan Corless they were the Three Musketeers who took hundreds of wickets. The triumvirate played in the 1954 and 1955 county cup finals for the Meageen Trophy, a rarity for a village team. Such was Peter’s skill behind the sticks he was selected to represent the Cumberland and Westmorland County Cricket Club in 1958 that recognition is scarce from village cricket level. Regarded as his finest ever performance was his five victims for the Westmorland Cricket League representative eleven against the Cumbria Senior League in 1952. His three stumpings and two catches standing up to the bowlers was regarded as brilliant. Peter captained the league side in the mid 1950s.

In an era dominated by bowlers on less good pitches than those of today he scored two centuries in 1962 and 1966. Many a fine batsman never reached three figures. After a run of five consecutive 50s the Westmorland Gazette ran the headline “Peter’s Purple Patch.”

Not all top players put back into the club what they took out of it. Peter did, getting his hands dirty on ground improvements and in his 70th year taking over as coach of the under sixteens leading them to their only cup final. His lasting pleasure however was that of club chairmanship in another halcyon era at Windermere Cricket Club matching that of the 1950s. To see his successors dominant in the Westmorland league of the 1990s under his tenure was a source of immense pleasure and pride. The circle has been squared. His legendary status at the club secured, his legacy will live on.

John Glaister November 2022

Where next?

2023 teams by division The teams for each of our four divisions has been confirmed for the 2023 season.
End of season presentation evening Peter McDermid receives the League Achievement Award

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