A bustling striker with a nose for goal, Maurice Cook’s contribution was often underrated. He was strong, direct and brave, an old-fashioned centre-forward who made up for a lack of speed and control with his total commitment.
Cook was a very versatile player for Watford, playing in every position except half-back. He missed only three matches in almost five seasons and scored 77 goals in 218 appearances for the Hornets. He also represented the Third Division South whilst at Vicarage Road.
Joining Fulham in 1958, he was cup-tied and missed out on their run to the FA Cup Semi-Final that year. He did, however, score 17 goals in Fulham’s promotion season of 1958/59 and played in every game of the FA Cup run of 1962.
Once asked Fulham Manager, Bedford Jezzard, for a transfer because he did not think he was good enough to play for the Club. In reality, he was an integral part of the Fulham Team of the early 1960’s, a regular rather than prolific scorer whose bustling style was the ideal complement to the more subtle skills of Johnny Haynes, Graham Leggat and, later, Rodney Marsh.
Scorer of the first-ever goal in the Football League Cup at Bristol Rovers in September 1960, the arrival of new Manager Vic Buckingham led to Cook’s departure in May 1965 for Reading, where he stayed for just one season before playing for Banbury United in the Southern League.
Cook died on 31st December 2006, aged 75. Coincidentally and somewhat fittingly, Fulham hosted Watford in a league match at the Cottage the following day, where both sets of supporters observed a minute's silence in his honour.