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In Sunshine and in Shadow

September 6 2017 at 9:50 PM
WS55  (Login WibseySimon55)

... 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.

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(Login Tyke1950)

Re: In Sunshine and in Shadow

September 6 2017, 10:09 PM 

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.

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: In Sunshine and in Shadow

September 6 2017, 11:34 PM 

Completely agree with that review. One of the best books on a Yorkshire player.

(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: In Sunshine and in Shadow

September 7 2017, 7:04 AM 

On my list to read too. Geoff is a lovely bloke who always says hello at headingley even though we don't know each other and he has had ups and downs on and off the pitch that have not altered his cherry persona.

The bit about Illy and Pocock has not been well publicised and is shameful when you see how others since have been allowed to get away with things.

With Geoff you get the impression he would be there today even if he had never played for us or been on the committee. A fan first, player second and committeeman third


(Login dpressed)

Re: In Sunshine and in Shadow

September 7 2017, 7:34 PM 

In 2003 we were at Taunton & Yorkshire weren't playing Richard Dawson. I saw Geoff Cope (then part of the Yorkshire coaching staff) walking round so I asked him why. Geoff was very happy to explain that Yorks thought that Dickie was fried after his winter in Aus so we're trying to help him get his mojo back. He didn't need to answer but being the man he was (& is) he was more than willing to give a full explanation (which I've condensed)

Move on a few years and a group of us used to sit where the Trueman now is. One afternoon Mr Cope walked past & described us as sounding like a bunch a gaggling schoolgirls ... We sadly had to agree 😀

Ps Just in case anyone isn't sure. I'm a fan

This message has been edited by dpressed on Sep 7, 2017 7:41 PM

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