Cook’s lifetime in football

Paul Cook during his Burnley playing days
Paul Cook during his Burnley playing days

PAUL COOK’s arrival at Pompey will be the fifth stop-off of his managerial career.

That’s after a 23-year spell as a player in which the creative midfielder racked up 642 appearances and bagged 56 goals.

The 48-year-old started his playing days at non-league level with Marine, before joining Wigan in 1984.

Cook spent five years with Wolves, where he chalked up 193 appearances – the most at any of his clubs.

The Scouser went on to play in the top flight with Coventry and had spells with Tranmere and Stockport, before making 146 appearances over four years with Burnley.

His career ended with Accrington, before moving into management with Conference outfit Southport.

That spell lasted just seven months, before he was sacked and he moved to Irish outfit Sligo Rovers.

Cook went on to spend five years with Sligo and a fourth-placed finish in his second season there saw them earn a Uefa Cup spot.

On top of that, there were two FAI Cup wins, a runner-up spot and League Cup success.

That return prompted a move back to England with Accrington, where he spent eight months before linking up with Chesterfield.

A first season at the Proact Stadium saw the Spireites finish just two points outside of the play-offs.

They then followed that by romping to the title in the 2013-14 campaign, and then making the League One play-offs this time around.

That’s despite selling free-scoring striker Eoin Doyle, who bagged 25 goals before joining Cardiff in January, and defender Liam Cooper to Leeds.

It’s that impressive record which has seen him come to the attention of the Pompey board in the wake of Andy Awford’s departure.

And with Cook believing he has taken Chesterfield as far as he can, it has paved the way for Pompey to make the up-and-coming boss the fourth manager of the community-owned era.

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