Bert Cooke

(1901 - 1977)

Bert Cooke
Even 50 years after his career, Cooke was still being described as one of the most instinctively brilliant backs seen in New Zealand, even by people who had never seen him play.

He was said to have great pace off the mark, could kick with accuracy and had an extraordinary ability to turn the slightest vestige of a chance into a try.

Cooke played 44 times for New Zealand between 1924 and 1930, including eight tests, and scored 38 tries.

On the Invincibles’ tour in 1924-25, he scored 23 tries in 25 matches, remarkable testimony to his and his team’s dominance. He was described thus:

“As swift as a hare, as elusive as a shadow, strikes like lightning, flashes with brilliancy.”

He also played for New Zealand at league, but returned to rugby to play for the air force at the age of 39.
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Available to buy online from the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame...


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