Author(s): Paul Amy
Fred Cook is one of the great Melbourne stories that combines the life of a true legend of football with exploits of true crime! Fred was a champion footballer who started his career with Footscray in the VFL and then went to Port Melbourne where, in the 1970s he enjoyed fame akin to a pop star. He was on TV, radio and wrote newspapers columns, and was (and still is) best pals with Sam Newman. But he fell in with a bad crowd (Dennis Allen and the Pettingills, no less), formed a drug habit, lost everything and did three spells in prison. Cook has led a remarkable life, going from hero to zero in three years. He's always wanted to tell his story, which has elements of football, crime and drugs and the wider issue of sportsmen and women who struggle with life once their careers have ended. Fred Cook's name still resonates with many football fans, 30 years after his career finished. In fact, last year he was nominated for the Australian football hall of fame.