What the papers said about ..Geoff Cooke

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'England rugby union skipper Will Carling was 'gutted' at the decision of manager Geoff Cooke to quit. 'It's as though a castle has been pulled out of the sky,' he said.' Express

'Carling was the darling . . . Will crisis as Cooke quits.' Sun

'Rugby's quaint notion that the honorary team manager does the job as a jolly nice hobby in his spare time is more and more ludicrous set against the harsh commercial realities of a sport only too happy to embrace big business. When it got to the stage that he had to work until 4.30 in the morning at his real job to find the spare time for his unpaid one, something clearly had to give.' Mail

'Under Cooke's intelligent, articulate and usually vigorous regime, England went from under-achieving also-rans and even occasional laughing stocks to champions . . . but committee backwoodsmen who pined for a more authoritarian and amateur era never forgave him for consistently taking his players' part.' Independent

'Their previous ham-handed attempts to get rid of Cooke failed, though presumably they, and their media lackeys, are preparing to dance on the funeral pyre. Mind you, if they thought Cooke was not an easy person to mould to outdated points of view, a couple of possible successors have enviable reputations for speaking their minds.' Telegraph

'England chief steps down . . . Will's goose is cooked.' Mirror

'Sadly those RFU members who attempted to plunge a dagger into Cooke's back can hardly be relied upon to grant his successor a fair working salary, not to mention a genrous vote of confidence when the chips are down.' Guardian

'Too many miles on Cooke's tour.' Mail

'If teams reflect the nature of the manager, perhaps laws reflect the sport's governing body. Is rugby union the only sport in the world with laws that are designed to reward the negative and the stick-in-the- mud at the expense of forward movement and initiative?' Times

'What a shabby way to treat the Sir Alf of rugby.' Express