The Encylopedia of British Football

Mark Crook

Mark Crook was born in Morley on 29th June 1903. An outside-right, Crook joined Blackpool in 1925. Over the next three seasons he scored 12 goals in 51 games for the club.

In 1929 Crook was signed by Frank Buckley, the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers. He joined a team that included Billy Hartill, Tom Smalley, Gordon Clayton, Dai Richards, Reg Hollingsworth, Billy Barraclough and Charlie Phillips.

In the 1931-32 season Crook helped Wolves win the Second Division championship. The club scored 118 goals that season.

After scoring 14 goals in 78 games for the club Crook joined Luton Town in 1934. However, he only played five more league games before retiring from professional football.

Crook, who ran a fish-and-chip shop near Barnsley, formed a junior football team called Broughton Welfare in 1938. A talented coach, one of the first players he developed was George Robledo.

After the Second World War Crook formed Wath Wanderers who played in the Northern Intermediate League. This club produced several talented footballers including Ron Flowers and Roy Swinbourne. In his autobiography, For Wolves and England (1962), Flowers claimed that "Mark Crook, as my first manager, left a lasting impression upon me... He encouraged me to think about the game... He was a wonderful talker on soccer, and we would sit rooted to our chairs as he discussed the great players he had played with and against in his youth."

Mark Crook died in 1977.