Cochrane ‘The Entertainer’ returns to his stage

Coleraine with the League Championship, (Terry, middle row, second from left).
Coleraine with the League Championship, (Terry, middle row, second from left).
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As football fans we all know there really is nothing better than watching a silky, skilful winger terrorise a full back during a game.

Coleraine have had a few down the years, but Terry Cochrane is one that is fondly remembered.

Terry Cochrane.

Terry Cochrane.

In fact it was Cochrane’s prowess on the pitch which lured James Nesbitt to the Bannsiders as a young boy watching on from the sidelines.

“Having arrived almost half-an-hour late for one game, I became transfixed by the skills of a player who, in a single move, could produce an incredible, mazy run and then crack the crossbar from 30 yards out,” Nesbitt famously said of his hero a few years ago.

Cochrane makes a return to The Showgrounds on Saturday 15 November to launch his autobiography, ‘See You at the Far Post’.

The Killyleagh native, now 61, started playing football for his Scouts and the local Killyleagh and Downpatrick teams in the late 1960s. He began his professional career in 1969 with Derry City, followed by a move to Linfield and then to Coleraine where he was part of the squad that won the league in 1974 and the Irish Cup in 1975. In his seven years in the Irish League he turned out nearly 200 times and scored on over 50 occasions.

His international career, from 1975 until 1984, is best remembered for his spectacular goal against England in May 1980, the year when Northern Ireland won the Home Championships for the first time in 100 years.

In 1976 he moved to Burnley, where he played 62 times; in 1978 to Middlesbrough where he made nearly 100 appearances and then to Gillingham in 1983 where he turned out on more than 100 occasions. He scored regularly for all three clubs and was always popular with both players and fans.

“I was a good player, but not a great one, but I was an entertainer of which there are unfortunately so few in the present day game,” said Terry.

“I gave value to each club I played for and I hope the fans thought the same.”

Nowadays Terry continues coaching youngsters in the Middlesbrough area, where he has lived for over 30 years, and broadcasts regularly on local radio close to his home.

He wrote the autobiography with the able assistance of his friend and former Scoutleader, Clive Scoular, who is also the publisher.