Sunderland’s long-serving kit man may take club to an employment tribunal after being made redundant following 25 years of service and 62 appearances as a player
- John Cooke was furloughed at the end of March due to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Cooke has now confirmed he has been made redundant after 25 years in the role
- He says he is ‘disappointed’ that the club laid him off without a special ‘mention’
- Cooke used to play for the club – making 62 appearances between 1979 and 1985
Sunderland‘s long-serving kit man John Cooke may take the club to an employment tribunal after he was made redundant.
Cooke – who was furloughed at the end of March due to the coronavirus pandemic – was let go after 25 years in the role.
Not only was Cooke popular with the current players, he also played for Sunderland himself – making 62 appearances between 1979 and 1985.
Sunderland kit man John Cooke was furloughed at the end of March due to the pandemic
Cooke confirmed his redundancy with the ChronicleLive and claimed he was considering taking the club to a tribunal.
Cooke said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the decision and felt let down by the fact the club failed to honour him as he left.
He said: It’s very disappointing to be made redundant from the club where I’ve spent more than 30 years as a player and staff member, without even a mention that I have left.
Cooke has now confirmed that he has been made redundant after 25 years in the role
Cooke – used to play for the club between 1979 and 1985 – was well respected by the players
‘The way it has been handled leaves an especially sour taste, and I’m looking at what legal options are available to me.’
Cooke – who was initially appointed as kit man by then-boss Mick Buxton – has now been replaced by U23 kit man Steve Aziz.
Cooke performed his duties under 17 other managers and even attended Sunderland’s home game against Gillingham following the death of his father.
The players respect for Cooke was clear as striker Kyle Lafferty ran to the bench to celebrate with the kit man after he scored his first goal during their 2-2 draw.