Brighton & Hove Albion were proud to unveil a memorial tablet today for Tommy Cook – the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Cook, who passed away in 1950, aged just 49, was laid to rest in his home village of Cuckfield, but over the years his headstone had fallen into a state of disrepair.
Sussex writer and Albion fan, Phil Dennett, brought this to the club's attention and following a recent restoration, this week was particularly apt for the unveiling, given Tommy served in World War One as a boy sailor, as well as in the South African Air Force in World War Two.
Albion paid for the silver inscription while funeral directors Gallaghers donated the black granite tablet to be laid on the grave. Gallaghers also improved the weather-beaten headstone.
Albion historian and author Tim Carder was among those present at the ceremony, likewise Dennett, of Burgess Hill, who was the driving force behind today’s event.
“My thanks to the Albion and Gallaghers for their generosity in supporting the project,” said Phil, who is researching a book on Tommy for possible release early in 2021, and whose grandfather also played for the Albion.
“Tommy was a unique Sussex sportsman in that no-one else has excelled at two professional sports to his level. The tablet acknowledges his superb achievement. He deserves to be remembered in this way.”
The service was conducted by Rev Michael Maine, vicar of Cuckfield, and also attending was Bill Collins of Cuckfield Cricket Club, for whom Tommy played as a young man.
Cook's record of 123 goals for the Albion between 1922 and 1929 still stands. He also scored 20,198 runs for Sussex, who were represented by Jon Filby of Sussex Cricket Club Museum.