|John Cochrane by Alex Service |
The Saints signed John from Salford and he had previously played for the Reds against them as a full-back. Recent research would seem to suggest that he was born in Maryport, in Cumbria and was living in Pemberton, Salford by the time of the 1911 census in Richard Street
The Saints were in need of a centre, as a result of injury and ‘Referees Observations’ in the Reporter [28-01-1910] gives us some information as to John’s status in the A team at the time: “I have no hesitation in offering the suggestion that John Cochrane, the ‘A’ Team full-back and late of Salford, be given a chance at centre threequarter. I have seen this player on several occasions playing centre for Salford and he has always played a good sound game when I have seen him. He is nicely built, vigorous and he has a fairly good turn of speed, and has played splendid football with the ‘A’ team since joining our ranks”.
The Saints’ Committee must have read these words and acted accordingly, as John made his senior debut away against Dewsbury at right centre. He joined a threequarter line of undoubted quality that day, including Tom Barton on the right wing, who had returned from his spell of working in New York as a brick-setter; Jimmy Greenwood was left centre, with the flying Jimmy Flanagan outside him.
Alas it was not the happiest of days for the visitors, who lost 3-11. ‘The Enthusiast’ in the Reporter on 8th February 1910, bemoans the fact that a friendly away at Coventry [on a bone-hard pitch] had proved costly for the team: “The absence of Charlie Creevey undoubtedly upset the equilibrium of the threequarter line and I have little doubt in my own mind that had he been able to play the Saints would have come out on top. That ‘friendly’ visit to Coventry has proved a very serious matter to the Saints, for Cochrane, who deputised for Charlie Creevey at centre, was not altogether happy and did not fill the position with great credit”.
For John Cochrane, it proved to be his one-and-only First Team game. He moved back to Cumberland and can be found in the 1939 Census living in Wood Street, Maryport and operating a public house. His death is registered in Cockermouth in September 1969 at the age of 84.