On Friday 19th March
2004, Norwich boss Nigel Worthington
welcomed a new face to Colney following a sudden overnight swoop
for Wolves midfielder Kevin Cooper.
The 29-year-old former Derby, Stockport and Wimbledon player
joined the Canaries on loan until the end of the season after
suddenly curtailing his current loan deal at Sunderland in order
to team up with his former Wolves pal Marc
Edworthy for the final 10 games of City's season. After being
stuck in the queue for places behind Black Cats star Julio Arca,
Cooper was delighted to be in with a chance of regular first-team
action after a thoroughly frustrating season.
"It's been a case of going from one end of the country
to the other, but this is a great opportunity for me to get something
out of a season that appeared to be going nowhere."
Cooper's fortunes took a turn for the worse when he sustained
a serious ankle injury in Wolves' second game of the season against
Charlton. Ever since, he had been playing catch-up, with the Canaries
hoping that they will reap the benefit of Cooper's return to full
fitness and obvious eagerness to make his mark somewhere this
He's got a quality left foot, can get at people, come inside
and score a goal - as we know from the play-offs," said
Worthington, Cooper having almost dented Norwich's chances of
a place in the Division One play-off final at Cardiff two years
ago with the only goal of the semi-final, second leg at Molineux.
That strike had lingered long in the City manager's memory as
he revealed that Cooper had figured large in his thoughts long
before the decision to add Cooper's experience to the right-hand
side of the City midfield.
"He was someone we'd considered before we brought Darren
Huckerby, Matt Svensson and Leon
McKenzie in, but at the time circumstances were such that
Wolves didn't want to let him out," said Worthington,
swift to pay tribute to those who had made such a quick loan move
The move was also helped by Cooper's long-standing friendship
with Canary full-back Edworthy. He was not, however, the only
familiar face to greet Cooper after representatives of both Wimbledon
and Stockport County were also in attendance. "I know
Marc very well but I also know Damien
Francis from Wimbledon and young Briggsy
from Stockport," said Cooper, who made a £1m switch
to Wolves in 2002.
Cooper made his debut as a substitute in the Canaries' 1-0 defeat
at Crystal Palace on 20th March 2004. Playing an important role
as the Canaries won the Division One title, the Canaries enquired
about bringing Cooper to Carrow Road on a permanent basis. This
looks unlikely with Wolves' asking price not in the same ballpark
as Norwich's estimation.
On 29th July 2005, Cardiff signed Cooper along with West Brom
defender Darren Purse and Northern Ireland international midfielder
On 29th September 2006, Kevin joined Yeovil on a month's loan.
Another loan period began towards the end of February 2006 when
Kevin joined Walsall along with Kevin Harper.
Returning to Cardiff, he was placed on the transfer list in May
On 25th October 2007, Kevin was loaned out to Tranmere Rovers
and was given permission to play for Rovers in the FA Cup first
round on 10 November, even though he became cup-tied.
Kevin returned to Cardiff but was released from his contract
on 1st February 2008. He joined Chesterfield until the end of
the season on February 8, 2008] and made a goalscoring debut the
following day. Kevin was released by Chesterfield at the end of
the 2007/8 season.
Cooper returned to South Wales in mid-July 2008 signing for Conference
South side Newport County.
Released by Newport in November 2009, Kevin signed for Neath
on 9th January 2010 along with Grimsby striker Chris Jones.
Cooper relocated to Malaysia to manage Cardiff's 1MCC - One Malaysia
Cardiff City - which is linked to the Far Eastern ownership of
Cardiff City. Ahead of the start of the 2012-13 season, Cooper
returned to Cardiff City to operate as the coach of the club's
under 21's side
In June 2014, Cooper became manager of Swiss side Servette when
Cardiff's former commercial director Julian Jenkins approached
him about a new project he was working on with Servette in Geneva.
At my age, there are not too many opportunities in England
to manage a club of this stature and pedigree,' says Cooper.
'As soon as I met the owner Hugh Quennec and spoke to Julian
it was clear we had the same philosophy. They accepted that I
was young and would make mistakes but there was no extra pressure.
It was better than anything I could have imagined back in the