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Hartlepool United FC Staff Profiles

Colin Cooper at Victoria Park

Colin Cooper
First Team Manager

Colin Cooper was appointed as the new First Team Manager at Hartlepool United on Friday 24th May 2013.

He left his role in Middlesbrough’s Academy to take charge at Victoria Park in his first managerial appointment having had tastes of it in caretaker charge both at Boro and Bradford City.

A dependable and highly-respected defender during his playing days, Cooper’s career began at Middlesbrough where he went on to make almost 200 appearances and earn a call-up to England’s Under 21 squad.

He played at Ayresome Park for seven year before Millwall paid £300,000 for him in 1991 and the Durham-born centre-back went on to be huge hit with Lions fans due to his competitive style of play.

Nottingham Forest spent £1.7million to lure him away from The Den in 1993 and his performances at The City Ground – where he enjoyed two promotions - led to him being capped twice by England in 1995.

Boro returned to the Premier League in 1998 and boss Bryan Robson earmarked Cooper as the experienced centre-back required to help them settle back in the big time, paying Forest £2.5million to bring him back to the north east.

After a further 158 appearances he had a short loan spell with neighbours Sunderland before retiring in 2006 to concentrate on a career in coaching.

His first role was as Reserve Team Coach at the Riverside and he was promoted in to the First Team set-up in June 2009, before stepping in to the hot seat on a caretaker basis following the departure of Gareth Southgate.

Cooper then accepted the job as assistant to Peter Jackson at Bradford City and he again stepped in to the manager’s job temporarily when Jackson departed before returning to Boro to work in the Academy.

He made no secret of his desire to become a Manager in his own right though and was delighted to be given the opportunity to prove himself at Victoria Park.