Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Cochrane: David Andrew (Davie)

1937-1950 (Player Details) (Leeds United War-time Guest Player Details)

Outside Right

Born: Portadown, Co. Armagh: 14-08-1920

Debut v Derby County (h): 26-03-1938

5’4” 10st (1938)

#90 in 100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever

Teenage starlet Cochrane, one of Northern Ireland’s youngest-ever professionals, was one of the youngest Leeds players to win International honours. A player of blistering pace and tantalizing ball-control, he learned well from his father who had been an inside-right with Linfield. Cochrane was playing for Portadown Reserves at fifteen and turned professional five days after his fifteenth birthday in 1935. He was only seventeen when he scored fourteen Irish League and Cup goals in only thirteen games and that persuaded United to sign him for £2,000 after Portadown’s Gold Cup Semi-Final Replay with Derry City in November 1937. Rejected by Arsenal, when George Allison considered him ‘too small’, Leeds had considered that Cochrane was a small man, standing just 5ft 4in, but had built a big reputation in the Irish League and had decided that, despite his size, he could cope with the rough and tumble of the English game. Even so, at first he was used sparingly by Leeds, giving him chance to acclimatise to the English game by using games in the Central League to build up his muscles and stamina. He had made his debut with Leeds on 26th March 1938 in a 0-2 home defeat by Derby County and after that he was nurtured in the Reserves for the rest of the season. However in the 1938-39 season he was eased into the Leeds first team until by the turn of the year he was a regular at Outside-Right. In fact when he made his debut for Ireland on 16th November 1938 at Old Trafford against England, at the age of eighteen years and three months, he had only made seven first team appearances. Despite the 7-0 defeat, with Willie Hall getting five of them, he held on to his place for the following match against Wales on 15th March 1939 at Wrexham when Ireland went down 1-3 in, what turned out to be, their final International prior to the outbreak of World War Two. The War restricted him to only twelve caps. Cochrane had made a total of thirty-three League and FA Cup appearances for Leeds, when War broke out. He scored twice for a Yorkshire XI at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, in a 4-1 win over an F.A. XI on 25th March 1945. He scored seven times in a further thirteen War-Time League and Cup games before returning to his native Portadown in 1940. During hostilities he helped Portadown to the runners-up spot in the Northern Regional League in 1941, but the club was then forced to fold for the duration of the War. Cochrane spent a season with Shamrock Rovers before he was convinced to move back North with Linfield. Although he spent just three years “guesting” at Windsor Park, his performances and achievements remain embedded in Linfield folklore. He gained two War-Time League titles, two Irish Cup final appearances, a Gold Cup success and a haul of fifty goals in a single season in the 1944-45 season. He also made eight appearances for the Northern Ireland Regional League before returning again to Shamrock Rovers, in the 1945-46 season, where he made a further four appearances for the Irish League. He scored four times for the Northern Ireland Regional League. Those were not the only representative games he played. He also represented the Irish F.A. against the British Army on 12th September 1942 when he scored in a 3-2 win at Windsor Park, in front of a 35,000 crowd and four days later he was in the Irish League team at the same venue, that went down to the British Army in front of a crowd of 14,000. He was also on the winning side again, when Ireland beat the British Army 4-2 in front of a 30,000 crowd at Windsor Park on 11th September 1943, when he scored a hat-trick and his Leeds teammate Aubrey Powell found the net for the British Army. He scored another hat-trick on 8th March 1944 as Ireland beat a Northern Ireland Combined Services at Grosvenor Park in front of 20,000 by 6-1. He represented Ireland against the Combined Services in front of a crowd of 49,875 in Belfast on 9th September 1944, when they went down 4-8. Two days later he was representing the Irish League against the same opponents in a 0-4 loss. He rejoined Leeds on the resumption of peacetime football but although he was still only twenty-six, he found himself surrounded by ageing teammates. It proved to be a disastrous first season back for Leeds who were relegated, finishing bottom of the First Division, a massive fifteen points from survival. Despite the club's poor showing, Cochrane was a certainty for his third full cap, which came against England in the Home Championship. Deprived of top-class football for so long, on 28th September 1946, a record 57,000 squeezed into Windsor Park, scene of many of Cochrane's most dazzling displays for Linfield, to see Northern Ireland take on England in the first full International since 1939. So many supporters were in the ground that they spilled onto the pitch, but good-natured order was restored before kick-off, and the match was able to start. England soon made up for lost time, Raich Carter, a future Leeds Manager, scored in the first minute. The Irish side made up of six players still playing for local teams and eight, including future Leeds player, Eddie McMorran, on debut were no match for the experienced England team and the visitors ended up run-away 7-2 winners and in two games against England Cochrane had seen the opposition score fourteen goals. The Irish selectors made sweeping changes for the next match against Scotland, and Cochrane was one of only four players to retain his place as a revamped Irish side deservedly drew 0-0 at Hampden on 27th November 1946, as future United defender, Con Martin, made his debut. Ireland finished the Home Championship in style with a 2-1 win over Wales in Belfast, on 16th April 1947, as the Leeds winger tasted a rare victory in what had been a dreadful season for his club. That summer saw a mass clear-out of players, with Cochrane one of the few to survive the cull. Former English International Willis Edwards was named as the man to replace Billy Hampson, who had resigned as Manager. Although Leeds only had a moderate season in the Second Division, relegation did not put Cochrane's international place under threat. While Leeds were losing 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion on 4th October 1947, the diminutive Irishman was turning on the style for his country, who beat Scotland 2-0, as Cochrane gained his sixth cap and Con Martin won his second and both Irish goals were scored by Sammy Smyth, a last minute replacement for Peter Doherty. The following month, on 5th November 1947, Cochrane was in the side that halted England's run of twelve successive victories over Northern Ireland when the two teams drew 2-2 at Goodison Park. However, the Irish left it late with Huddersfield Town hero Peter Doherty scoring with a spectacular diving header in the final seconds. Cochrane played in the 0-2 loss to Wales, on 10th March 1948 but missed the next International against England, who resumed normal service with a 6-2 win, but was back in the side to face Scotland on 17th November 1948, as United teammate Jim McCabe made his Irish debut and two Davy Walsh goals in the opening five minutes stunned the Tartan Army. But, the Scots hit back to snatch victory with Billy Houliston heading home a last minute winner. Cochrane's International career was on a downturn as Ireland lost again to Wales, 0-2 at Windsor Park on 9th March 1949, as Cochrane earned his tenth cap and Jimmy McCabe his second and future Leeds teammate, Harold Williams made his debut for Wales. This was followed by another humiliation in a 2-8 crushing by Scotland on 1st October 1949 at Windsor Park as Ireland gave debuts to no less than seven players, and East Fife's Henry Morris scored a hat-trick in his only full International appearance. Worse was to follow for Cochrane and the Irish the following month. They were slaughtered 9-2 in the persistent drizzle at Maine Road by England, on 16th November 1949, and Jack Rowley of Manchester United helped himself to four goals. It was Ireland's biggest defeat since they had lost 11-0 to the same opponents in 1901. It was Cochrane's twelfth and final game for Ireland. Those caps would have been far more and his Leeds career appearances even more impressive had it not been for the Second World War which would have seen him in his prime. But Cochrane overcame the disappointment of that humiliating defeat as Leeds went on the ascedency and only lost five more League games in the rest of the season as they soared from being relegation prospects to fifth position in the Second Division and only bowed out to Arsenal at Highbury by the narrowest of margins in the Sixth Round of the F.A. Cup, thereby creating a club record at that time. Cochrane had been one of the main reasons behind their success and United had promotion aspirations at the start of the 1950-51 season. Cochrane played the first two games of the season, but, after being out of the team for a short period, it stunned Northern Ireland and Leeds United fans alike, when he announced his retirement from football on 1st October 1950, aged just thirty. He announced, “I always dreaded coming to the end of my career, soccer meant so much to me and I always wanted to finish at the top.” With his playing days behind him Cochrane and his family settled in Beeston, not far from Elland Road, to run a newsagents shop. He remained in the Leeds area until his death in June 2000, aged seventy-nine.

League 17628
F.A. Cup 104
League 107
Cup 30