(February 25, 1956 - March 23, 1995)
It was one of the saddest days of Scottish Football when he was tragically taken from us in April 1995.
At this moment he was still 39 years old.
Super Cooper was a true blue.
Genius is an over-used tag but it applied to Coop. He possessed a left foot on a par with Baxter and dazzled defenders with his stunning wing play and magnificent crosses. A match-winner in every sense of the phrase, his death from a brain haemorrhage at the age of 39 in 1995 stunned the nation.
Many rate him as one of the most gifted Scottish players of all time, up there with Denis Law, Jim Baxter and Kenny Dalglish. With the ball at his feet, no-one knew what to expect - except, perhaps, the unexpected.
He would run at defenders, show them a glimpse of the ball, pull it back, feint and then with a shimmy he would be gone - often past several players.
He could cross an inch-perfect ball to either head or foot and possessed such stunning shooting power that it made him a scorer of spectacular goals.
Two such gems among the 75 goals he scored for Rangers were a free kick against Aberdeen in the League Cup Final on October 25 1987 and his finest strike of all in the Drybrough Cup Final against Celtic on August 4 1979.
Against Aberdeen he hit the ball so hard past a wall of players that it rocketed into the far corner of the net beyond a helpless Jim Leighton.
Against Celtic, he received the ball on his chest with his back to goal on the edge of the box and seemingly nowhere to go. Cooper flicked it in the air four times with his left foot taking him past four Celtic defenders and put it in the net.
It was a majestic strike of outlandish flair and imagination and was voted the Greatest Ever Rangers Goal in a worldwide poll by fans.
It also summed up the essence of Cooper. For he was not at his best when receiving tactical instruction and told to stick to a plan. To bring out his genius, Cooper had to be given a free role and allowed to play the game as he saw it.
Cooper was born in Hamilton on February 25 1956. He became an apprentice printer and played for local amateurs Hamilton Avondale.
He joined Clydebank, receiving just over �300 as a signing on fee. The money, in fact, was the previous night's takings from the Bankies social club.
Cooper inspired Clydebank to the Second Division title in 1975-76 and the big clubs began to take notice. Arsenal, Aston Villa and Coventry all tried to entice him, but Cooper was waiting for Rangers to make a move.
He got his chance to impress when Clydebank were drawn against Rangers in the quarter-final of the League Cup in September 1976. It took two replays for Rangers to overcome Clydebank and in the first game, a 3-3 draw at Ibrox, Cooper turned it on to score the match-saving equaliser.
Cooper was duly signed for Rangers by Jock Wallace in June 1977 for �100,000.
Essentially a left-winger, he played a limited number of games at outside right where he would cut inside to release other players.
That he was a largely a one-footed player became a joke among his team-mates. At his testimonial dinner, Ally McCoist, on behalf of the players, presented Cooper with something they said he'd always wanted - a dummy right leg!
But if he only had one foot, it was some foot.
Cooper was to form a magnificent partnership with centre forward Derek Johnstone. He won three Championships (1977-78, 1986-87 and 1988-89) and three Scottish Cups (2-1 against Aberdeen in 1978, 3-2 in a second replay against Hibernian in 1979 and scoring in a 4-1 drubbing of Dundee United in the replayed 1981 final).
That first season at Ibrox was a magical one for Cooper. He and the other new boys in the side, Bobby Russell and Gordon Smith, all played their part as Rangers won the Treble.
The Press, however, dubbed him "The Moody Blue" because of his unwillingness to give interviews. Cooper was never one for the hype and preferred to do his talking on the pitch.
That season's League Cup victory was his first in what became seven winners' medals in the competition as Rangers beat Celtic 2-1 in 1977-78, Aberdeen 2-1 in 1978 79, Dundee United 2-1 in 1981-82, Celtic 3-2 in 1983-84, Dundee United 1-0 in 1984-85, Celtic 2-1 in 1986-87 and Aberdeen on penalties after a 3-3 draw in 1987-88.
Cooper scored four times in those seven Finals.
He won 24 caps for Scotland (20 of them with Rangers) and played in the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 having scored the all-important penalty against Wales to take them through.
He claimed to have been a lazy player, but when Jock Wallace returned as Rangers manager in 1983 the first words he spoke to an out of condition Cooper were: "You've got three weeks to lose half a stone." Cooper did it in five days.
When Graeme Souness replaced Wallace in 1986, Rangers were to win their first Championship for nine years. And it was Cooper who supplied the cross for captain Terry Butcher to head home the goal that won the title against Aberdeen.
Souness was to say that Cooper "was as responsible as anybody for the success in winning the Championship. He could place the ball on a sixpence and caused teams all sorts of problems."
By season 1988-89 he had stopped being an automatic choice and went to Motherwell in search of regular first team football in August 1989 for �50,000.On Sunday 20th March at Hampden Park people saw the first Cup Final of the season in Scotland when Rangers beat Motherwell 5-1 in the CIS Cup. However, for many the match was a tribute to a man who played for both clubs and graced the Hampden turf for his country on many occasions. This man had magic in his boots and gave his fans many, many magic moments. His name was Davie Cooper.
Cooper died on the 23rd March 1995 from a brain haemorrhage and left those behind him, family, friends and fans in a state of shock at the loss of such a great player. Indeed former Rangers legend Ally McCoist said that the players had "lost a brother" and Old Firm rival Tommy Burns declared that Scotland had lost "a national treasure".
It is perhaps fitting that the match was renamed the "Davie Cooper final".
Davie Cooper played in 7 League Cup finals for Rangers and 1 outstanding Scottish Cup final for Motherwell in an epic 4-3 win over Dundee United. There is no doubt that Cooper has left each and every fan who saw him play for any of his clubs or his country with special memories of this special player.
He scored in 4 of the Cup Finals and was Man of the Match in the 1984 Scottish Cup Final against Dundee United as his dazzling wing play deserved. His dribbling and wing play left players and fans looking on in awe of 'Super Cooper', and if you where lucky enough to see him then you will know what I am talking about.
He scored stunning free-kicks,penalties and simple tap ins, aswell as important goals for Scotland including a penalty against Wales that took the Scots to the 1986. Cooper was the man for the big occasion, super cool in even the most tense atmosphere. Even the opposition fans would want Cooper in their team. He was respected as a man and a player by so many, and when he died fans from every club left their colours at Ibrox and FirPark.
Davie at Louden Tavern,the best Rangers Pup in the World
He was the greatest of them all
With magic skills when on the ball
I refer of course to the magic trouper
Our one, our only Davie Cooper
Started in Clydebank as a boy
Mesmerizing defences was his ploy
His skills tricks and fitness was
To immortalise the football cause
And when at last to the Gers he came
He was soon to make a famous name
Jock Wallace signed him for us all
To show us how to use a ball
And then for Scotland Coop did play
To show the world, the old Scottish way
When the ball was at the master’s feet
We watched in awe at this great treat
The caps he won were twenty two
The pundits knew this was too few
A gentleman with so much skill
To watch the man was such a thrill
But you’ve gone now Coop and left a gap
You helped to put us on the map
We owe to you our gracious thanks
Like Loch Lomond and its bonny banks
So if you are a football fan
Raise your glass to an unforgettable man
He’ll be remembered as a super trouper
He was our one, our only Davie Cooper