Cuckfield Museum gets copy of Burgess Hill writer’s book about sporting hero Tommy Cook

The author of a book about Cuckfield sporting legend Tommy Cook has given a copy to the village museum.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 2:30 pm

Writer Phil Dennett, 71, said the donation is a ‘thank you’ for the help given early in his research for Tommy Cook, The Double Life of a Superstar Sportsman.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced Cuckfield Museum to close but it is now open again.

Phil, of Junction Road, Burgess Hill, presented museum steward Kate Fleming, a lifelong football and cricket fan, with a copy of the third print of his book at Queen’s Hall in Cuckfield.

Phil Dennett presents Cuckfield Museum steward Kate Fleming with a copy of his book.

“The Cook file at the museum gave a me a good start to my research, and the donation of the book is a very small token of my appreciation of the help the staff gave me before the pandemic closed everything down,” said Phil.

“I am delighted to see the museum is open again and I hope anyone who takes a look at the book will enjoy it.”

Tommy was born in the village’s South Street in 1901 and grew up to score a still-unbeaten record 123 goals for Brighton and Hove Albion and more than 20,000 runs for Sussex before retirement from professional sport in England in 1937.

Married three times, he coached cricket and ran a hotel in South Africa. He was also the sole survivor of an air crash there, and was sacked after only a few months as Brighton and Hove Albion manager in 1947.

Suffering depression, he took his own life in 1950 at the family home in Broad Street, Cuckfield, and is buried in the village’s burial ground.

Last year a memorial stone given by Albion and funeral directors Gallagher’s was laid on his grave.

The book costs £15 and is available from the store at Albion’s Amex stadium or from Sussex Cricket Museum. Readers can also order it from [email protected] A donation to mental health charity Mind will be made from proceeds.