Rugby Union: Cooke's exit is blow for Bedford
Tuesday 08 December 1998
When the 57-year-old Cumbrian resigned from a successful England side in February 1994 it took the rugby world by surprise. He had managed the 1993 Lions and turned England's fortunes around. His Test record ended with 35 wins, one draw and 13 defeats from 49 games.
However, yesterday's decision was less of a surprise and a possibility all season once the club, which has won only two matches this season and is owned by Frank Warren, ran into financial problems following the boxing promoter's complex legal wrangle with Don King.
In September, the coach, Paul Turner, resigned, and rugby director Cooke - just two years into the job - admitted: "I have had to dust down an old tracksuit and get on the training pitch."
He stressed the club's limited cash base by saying: "And we won't be appointing a new coach or buying new players. There is no scope for that."
It is likely that the former Springbok Rudi Straeuli, who has undertaken more coaching after curtailing his playing role in recent weeks, will assume fuller responsibility.
The players and staff have received salaries late and, although the Warren-King issue is expected to come before the courts next month, it is too late for Cooke, and his departure implies more money problems for the staff.
Cooke, who first appointed Will Carling as England captain in 1988 and shared two Grand Slams with him in 1991 and 1992, was upset with the latest Bedford developments. "I am bitterly disappointed at the circumstances that have produced this outcome," he said.
"The players and other staff have worked hard over the past two years to help Bedford rise from the depths of League Two to achieve Premiership status, and I am very sad that my association with the club should end in this way."
Warren acknowledged the inevitability of Cooke's exit, stating: "I am disappointed but appreciate Geoff's position."
An announcement about a chief executive will be made later this week, Warren said.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...