... Geoff Cope's book
i daresay I've missed an earlier thread on this, (so apologies to all who've already raved about it) but I've just finished reading it, and highly, highly recommend it. A really good book.
There are so many fascinating angles to Geoff Cope's story:
-The flavour of the great team of the 60s ... the characters, the quality, the commitment ... and the tyranny of Close on the field and Sellers off it. Close (Close!) being reduced to a gibbering wreck by Sellers' force of personality. And the idiocy of the tyrant's decisions at the end of the decade as Close and Illingworth were forced out ... to their days of extra glory at Somerset and Leicestershire ... all power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.
-The struggle to hold something together in the 70s (Cope's heyday) in the face of the impossible conundrum presented by Boycott's talent and Boycott's wooden insensitivity to others
-The strange bad luck that kept dogging Geoff Cope -- finding himself the wrong end of Boycott's personality, of Brearley's honesty (read the book) and of Illingworth's machinations. And on top of it all the nagging criticism of his action that would never have caused a problem in today's game (he was nowhere near a 15 degree angle, moreover no modern HR regime would allow the 'accused' not to be told what he was accused of!). But Cope's unfailing kindness shows through it all; that and his ability to rise above it all to focus on the positives in his experiences.
There are some real tear-jerking moments, some real life-lessons, and some splendid pen portraits of several 'greats' of Yorkshire cricket -- some of them quite surprising.
And there's stuff at the end on the finances of the Club, and on Colin Graves, that are really illuminating about some of the issues that face the club right now.
It's a great read for anyone interested in Yorkshire cricket, yesterday, today and tomorrow. And for those who are lucky enough (like me) to have enjoyed watching Geoff Cope come in and bowl as a talented youngster able to find a place in a side of heroes, and then to mature into a modest hero himself, it's a revelation and a joy to add the depth and resonance of 'how it all happened' to memories of watching Yorkshire cricket at the time.
The title, of course, is brilliant. At least three layers of meaning to it.
Thanks Wibsey. An excellent review. I'll be buying the book. Like you, I was a great admirer of Geoff Cope and upset by the chucking furore.
He was at today's game, as usual, and seemed to be in great form.