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Long-serving Sunderland kit man John Cooke could be being 'eased out' EmptyToday at 7:18 pm by oldblackcat

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Long-serving Sunderland kit man John Cooke could be being 'eased out'

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Long-serving Sunderland kit man John Cooke could be being 'eased out' Empty Long-serving Sunderland kit man John Cooke could be being 'eased out'

Post  Exilium on 2020-09-03, 7:54 pm

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John Cooke has yet to return from furlough, with ex-manager Peter Reid suggesting he is being 'eased out'
Sunderland’s long-serving kit man John Cooke could be leaving the club after more than 25 years in the role.
Cooke - known to everyone at the club as 'Cookie' - was furloughed along with the rest of Sunderland's backroom staff at the end of March.
But while the majority of the club's first-team support staff came back to the Academy of Light at the end of July when the squad began pre-season training, Cooke has yet to return.
Officially, ChronicleLive understands Cooke remains on furlough leave although, with Sunderland set to play their first competitive game against Hull City in the Carabao Cup this weekend and then the league campaign due to begin next Saturday, there is a growing feeling at the training ground that the popular 58-year-old will not be recalled to work.
Ex-Sunderland manager Peter Reid drew attention to Cooke's situation on social media this week, saying: "@SunderlandAFC disturbing rumours John Cook is being eased out of his job. Great at his job and a diamond of a lad. Hope the rumours are my [not] true. #kitman"
In Cooke's absence, his assistant Stephen Aziz has carried out kitman duties for Sunderland's pre-season friendlies at Gateshead and the home games against Carlisle United and Harrogate Town, and is expected to do so against Hull this weekend.

Cooke – who played for Sunderland for six years from 1979 - is the longest-serving member of the club's footballing staff, having returned as kitman in 1994 under Mick Buxton's managerial reign.
Cooke's father passed away in March in the run-up to Sunderland's home game against Gillingham, but he insisted on working the game against the Gills and striker Kyle Lafferty gave a public demonstration of the squad's affection for him when he ran straight to the bench to celebrate with Cooke after scoring the first of his two goals in the 2-2 draw.
ut unless the club has a change of heart, that game could be Cooke's final outing.
He missed the visit to Bristol Rovers a few days later because he had family matters to attend to, and that trip to the South West was Sunderland's last game before the League One season was halted and ultimately curtailed due to the Covid-19 crisis.



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[size=15]Peter Reid

@reid6peter[/size]


@SunderlandAFC disturbing rumours John Cook is being eased out of his job. Great at his job and a diamond of a lad. Hope the rumours are my true. #kitman





1:55 PM · Sep 1, 2020
Exilium
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