Born in Cheshire and raised in Newport, Jack Cope played as a professional in both League football as well as first-class cricket, making three appearances for Glamorgan during 1935.
He had shown rich promise as a schoolboy footballer and cricketer, and initially joined Ebbw Vale FC before moving west to join Llanelli AFC. He continued though to play cricket for Ebbw Vale CC and from July 1931 he also played Minor County cricket for Monmouthshire, for whom he made 98 against Warwickshire 2nd XI at Edgbaston in 1933.
Whilst playing football for Llanelli in 1933, Jack was spotted by a talent scout from Bury FC and he duly signed professional terms with the Lancashire club and moved to north-west England. He also got an opportunity to play cricket – as an amateur – at weekends for Radcliffe in the Bolton League, in addition to playing during the week – as a professional – for Monmouthshire in their Minor County games.
Following Glamorgan’s merger with Monmouthshire during 1934, he appeared in County Championship cricket the following summer and travelled overnight by train to Tunbridge Wells in order to make his Glamorgan debut the following morning against Kent. He duly kept his place for the subsequent home games against Hampshire at the Arms Park and Lancashire at Swansea and for the subsequent summers, Jack continued to appear for Glamorgan 2nd XI in the Minor County Championship.
Jack remained with Bury until the end of the 1937/38 season before a short spell with Ipswich Town. Jack then agreed terms with Cardiff City for the start of the wartime League and Cup games in 1939/40. He remained in Cardiff during the wartime years and in 1945 secured a coaching post with their nursery team, based at Aberdare. He continued to play cricket for Ebbw Vale, and in 1950 appeared again for the county’s 2nd XI against their counterparts from Gloucestershire at Bristol.
COPE John James
Born – Ellesmere Port, 1st August 1908
Died – Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale, 28th January 1995
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 14* v Hampshire at Cardiff Arms Park, 1935.