Tributes to Ernie - Bridlington’s record-breaker

Ernie Cooper holds the Yorkshire Shield after Bridlington's win in 2012.
Ernie Cooper holds the Yorkshire Shield after Bridlington's win in 2012.

Bridlington Rugby Club is mourning the death of its former president Ernie Cooper.

He died in Hull last Thursday, at the age of 90, and the flag at Dukes Park clubhouse has been flying at half-mast as a mark of respect.

Mr Cooper was famous as a rugby record-holder, having landed the longest successful penalty kick in the sport’s history.

Neil Arton, who said he was ‘proud’ to succeed Mr Cooper as president of the Dukes Park club, told the Free Press: “We’ve lost a true gentleman, an ambassador for England and Yorkshire rugby and a true friend of Bridlington RUFC.”

Mr Cooper’s wife Louise said: “He was a fantastic, loving husband and the perfect father to all 10 of his children.”

A sporting all-rounder, he also boxed for the Navy and represented them at sprinting.

His club rugby career saw him represent Bridlington, Scarborough, Hull and East Riding, Roundhay, Headingley and York Unicorns.

Former Bridlington first team coach Rich Girking, speaking on behalf of the club’s players, said: “We would all like to thank Ernie for the support he gave us over the years.

“Even when he was poorly, he used to come and watch us regularly, and even if we had played badly, he would always come up with a positive.

“He was a very positive man and a unique character.”

A funeral service will be held at St Anthony’s Church in Beverley Road in Hull at noon on Wednesday (August 3), followed by burial at Bridlington Cemetery in Sewerby Road at 3pm, before a gathering for friends at the rugby club.