William (Billy) Cook was born in Preston on 16th January 1882. A full-back, he joined Preston North End in 1901 but he never played for the first-team. After spells with Ashton Town and Rossendale United he joined Oldham Athletic in 1907.
In April 1915 Billy Cook was playing in a game against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park. At the time Oldham Athletic was challenging for the First Division title. Middlesbrough quickly took a 3-0 goal lead. The Oldham players believed that the third goal should have been disallowed. They were further annoyed when they had a penalty appeal turned down.
Early in the second-half Cook fouled Willie Carr and Middlesbrough scored the penalty to extend their lead to 4-1. Soon afterwards Cook brought down Carr again. The referee decided to send off Cook for persistent fouling. However, Cook refused to leave the field and the referee was forced to abandon the match. As a result, Oldham Athletic was fined £350 and Cook was banned by the Football Association for twelve months.
Billy Cook died in 1947.
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