Football Debutant at 75 Years of Age Wed, April 24, 2024 - 3:07 PM

Bill ‘Cookie’ Cooke has been part of the Pinjarra Football and Netball Club for more than 25 years as a much-loved volunteer. 

But on Saturday, Cooke made history to become the oldest football debutant for the club, and possibly Australia, at the ripe age of 75. 

Hundreds of people turned out to see Bill run onto the oval, and the fans were not left disappointed as Pinjarra claimed a one-point victory over Rockingham after a last-minute goal to seal the win. 

“That was absolutely awesome,” Cooke said. 

“It was probably one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in my life, even better than back in ‘51, the winner of Pinjarra.  

“It was good, I couldn’t believe the amount of people that turned up.” 

Teammate Ryan Budd congratulated Cooke for his dedication to the club, with Bill and long-time friend ‘Shorty’ Hennessey raising over $3 million for the club through raffles and can collections over the years. 

“Footy clubs are about success and about winning, but mostly they’re about people, they’re about mates; today the footy club is very honoured to have Billy down here,” Budd said.  

“He’s been here for more than 25 years, where he started fundraising, never asking for anything in return.  

“He’s been to more training (sessions) than probably anyone here. 

“He’s put blood, sweat and tears into this club, we can’t fully repay him for that, but today goes a little way to doing that.” 

“Pinjarra footy club is saying that it’s an honour, well it’s an absolute honour for me because I might be the oldest bloke in Australia to make a debut for a club at 75 years of age,” Cooke beamed. 

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