Mike Cooper

Mike Cooper: 100 Not Out

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Mike Cooper made his 100th consecutive league start for Argyle on Tuesday night against Oxford United, making him only the 12th person in the club’s history to reach that landmark.

The most recent – and the only one this century – was Paul Wotton, who played 109 times in a row between October 2000 and January 2003.

Fittingly, Cooper kept a clean sheet as Argyle beat Oxford 1-0 and, in typical fashion, while Mike declared pleasure about the manner of bringing up his century, he quickly distributed the praise to those around him.

“It’s a nice way to mark the landmark,” said Mike. “I thought the lads in front of me were like a wall tonight. They won every header, block and challenge: they made the night easier for me than it could have been.”

For someone like Cooper, who has been with Argyle from a very young age, the footsteps in which he is following is a fact not lost on him.

“Wotts is a legend, isn’t he?” said Mike. “To be in that company is an honour. I just want to play as many games in a row as I can now.”

Manager Schumacher also praised Cooper’s tally of games, and the manner in which it was done.

“It’s a brilliant achievement,” he said. “He is a top goalie. Mike would just have been focused on trying to keep a clean sheet, and it was a great way to top it off.”

Mike’s first league start, and the first of this current streak, was against Blackpool on the opening day of the 2020/21 season. He was ever-present throughout the last two seasons and has played every league game of this one so far.

Leading the all-time list of consecutive Argyle appearances is left-back Pat Jones, who played an incredible 279 times in succession between May 1947 and October 1953. He is 100 ahead of Johnny Williams, who racked up his run between December 1958 and March 1963.

The top goalkeeper on the list, and third overall, is Fred Craig who, from August 1922 to September 1926, played 174 games in a row.

Other names to break the 100 mark are Kevin Hodges, Geoff Crudgington, Gordon Nisbet, Paul Williams, John Hore, Adrian Burrows, Wotton and John Sims.

If Cooper was to retain his place until the end of this season, he would move into seventh spot on the overall list.

The clean sheet against Oxford was Cooper’s fifth in the league this season, and the fourth in four games at Home Park since the campaign began. Stretching back to last season, this now means Argyle have kept a clean sheet in 11 of the last 12 league fixtures at Home Park.

Congratulations on the achievement, Coops!


Thank you to Steve Dean and Greens on Screen for the research for this article.

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