Cook's funeral to be held today
THE funeral notice proclaimed Len Cook as ‘a champion and a friend to many’.
It is an apt description of a man who was a champion sportsman and a devoted family man.
The 76-year-old died in Lismore Base Hospital on Sunday after a long illness, and his life will be celebrated at St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, today.
Leonard John Cook, or ‘Cookie’ as he was known to most, was a well-known Lismore businessman, but he will probably be best remembered for his exploits in the sporting world.
A champion sprinter in his youth, Mr Cook ran in the prestigious Stawell Gift from 1950 to 1954, with his best result running second in the semi-finals. He subsequently went on to win the repechage.
On his retirement from athletics, the rangy athlete took to rugby league and started out with Marist Brothers before playing with Lismore Wests, and then further afield with Maitland, Guyra, Wauchope and Armidale.
Mr Cook’s other passion, besides his close-knit family, was as a trainer in the sport of kings, which is why a large contingent of local racing identities are expected to attend today.
“He’s a major loss for the sport and the community,” Lismore Turf Club president Ron Marriott said.
The funeral commences at 12.30pm.