Above: Phil Dennett at work on the new play
Writer Phil Dennett hopes local groups will perform his first play “Tommy Cook - Sporting Legend”, which runs to just over two hours.
Tommy Cook was born in 1901 in Cuckfield, where his parents ran a shop. He soon showed promise at schools level in football and cricket, in which he also had success with the village teams.
Sussex plucked Tommy from the obscurity of local cricket and he became one of the county’s finest batsmen, scoring more than 20,000 runs in a 15-year career.
His record- breaking run of goal-scoring for the club has not been matched in peacetime football, ending with 123 goals in 209 league and FA Cup matches between 1922 and 1929.
The play also touches on Cook’s personal life, ending with his tragic death at the age of 49 in January 1950.
Phil, of Junction Road, Burgess Hill has dedicated the play to lifelong Albion and Sussex fan and arts writer Mark Gale, who died without achieving his wish to see Albion play at Falmer.
He said: “There were suggestions that Mark might have written, or at least started, a play about Tommy Cook, but this never materialised. I decided to write the play, which is my first, in Mark’s memory.” Mark, who lived for many years in Hurstpierpoint, died in Haywards Heath aged 76 in 2009.
Any group interested in seeing a copy of the play may contact Phil on firstname.lastname@example.org.