Lawrence Cook

Lawrence Cook was born in Preston on 28th March 1885. A centre-forward he played football for Bacup and Chester before joining Stockport County in 1912.

On 2nd April, 1915, Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-0. Afterwards, bookmakers claimed that they had taken a great deal of money on the 7-1 odds offered on a 2-0 United victory. They suspected that the game had been fixed and pointed out that late in the game, Jackie Sheldon, had missed a penalty. The bookmakers decided not to pay out on the result and offered a £50 reward for information that would unmask the conspirators.

The Sporting Chronicle newspaper took up the story and claimed that they discovered evidence that players on both sides had got together to concoct a 2-0 scoreline. The newspaper also argued that some of the players had large bets on the result.

The Football League announced it would carry out its own investigation into the case. It published its report in December 1915. It concluded that "a considerable amount of money changed hands by betting on the match and... some of the players profited thereby."

Cook was found guilty of this offence and was banned for playing professional football for life. Three players in the Manchester United squad were banned for life: Enoch West, Sandy Turnbull and Arthur Whalley. Only West actually played in the game. The same sentence was imposed on four Liverpool players: Jackie Sheldon, Tom Fairfoul, Tommy Miller and Bob Pursell.

Lawrence Cook, who had scored four goals in 10 games for Stockport, died in 1933.