Liam David Ian Cooper (born 30 August 1991) is a professional footballer who plays for Championship side Leeds United. Although normally playing as a centre back, he can also function as a left back.
He is the current captain of Leeds. He has represented Scotland at Under 17 and 19 level. He received his first call-up to the senior Scotland squad on 10 March 2016 for a friendly against Denmark.
Liam Cooper playing for Hull City
Born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, Cooper attended Malet Lambert school and joined Hull City at Under-12 level. He was in the youth team that won the Football League Youth Alliance Cup Final against Colchester 3–0, scoring the opening goal but later being sent off for a deliberate handball.
On 26 August 2008 he made his first team debut for Hull against Swansea City in the Football League Cup. On 30 August 2008, on his 17th birthday, he signed professional terms with the club, and featured on the bench as an unused substitute for the Premier League game against Wigan Athletic. He made his first Premier League start on 26 September 2009 at Anfield in the 6–1 defeat by Liverpool. Cooper signed a new three-year contract at the KC Stadium in March 2010.
On 1 December 2011, after being left out of the squad to play Charlton Athletic, Cooper asked for his loan to be terminated, so he could try and gain a place in new manager Nick Barmby's setup. Huddersfield agreed, and he returned to the KC Stadium. At the end of March, Hull City captain, Jack Hobbs suffered a cruciate ligament rupture and ruled him out until Christmas 2012. Cooper filled the void, building a solid partnership with James Chester in the remaining few games of the campaign.
Having made three first team appearances for the 2010–11 season with little opportunity, Cooper was sent on loan to League One side Carlisle United on 10 January 2011 for a monthlong loan, as part of the deal which saw James Chester end his loan spell with Carlisle and join Hull City from Manchester United. The loan spell came to an early end when he sustained a hand injury in February in the match against Huddersfield Town. Following a return from injury, on 4 March 2011, Carlisle signed him on a further month loan with the option to extend it for the remainder of the season. Cooper decided to return to Hull at the end of the month loan rather than staying for the remainder of the season.
On 8 July 2011, he joined League One club Huddersfield Town on a season-long loan. After making his full debut in the League Cup match against Port Vale in August, he made his league debut as a substitute in the 2–2 draw against Leyton Orient at the Galpharm Stadium on 24 September 2011. His first league start came a week later on 1 October 2011 in the 4–0 away win over Brentford followed by second start three days later on 4 October 2011 in the Football League Trophy second round exit to local rivals Bradford City when Cooper was taken off at half time due to injury. Cooper loan spell with Huddersfield Town came to an end on 2 December 2011.
Cooper joined Chesterfield on 1 November 2012, on a months loan deal. Manager, Paul Cook said: "We are delighted with the signing of Liam Cooper. He is a player that attracts a lot of interest from clubs, and not just in this division."
Cooper scored on his debut in a 2–1 win over Oxford United on 16 November 2012. Cooper scored again a few weeks later on 28 November 2012, in a 2–1 loss against Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup. The following month, Cooper loan spell at Chesterfield was extended until 5 January 2013.
On 5 January 2013, Cooper signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Spireites for an undisclosed fee and played less than an hour later in a 2–1 loss to Wycombe Wanderers. He scored his first goal for the club as a full Chesterfield player in a 2–1 loss against Torquay United on 19 March 2013. Cooper made 31 appearances and scored three times in all competitions since becoming a permanent signing in the 2012–13 season.
Despite picking up a pre-season injury and missing the first three games, he formed a solid defensive partnership with Sam Hird early on in the 2013–14 season. Cooper then scored his first goal of the season on 12 October 2013, as they drew 1–1 with Fleetwood Town. He later scored his second, in a 4–1 win over Cheltenham Town on 25 February 2014. Chesterfield made it to the Football League Trophy Final, where he started and played the whole match where Chesterfield lost 3–1 to Peterborough United. Cooper would overcome the final loss to score in a 2–1 win over Hartlepool United on 12 April 2014; keeping the club in the League Two title race. Cooper helped earn promotion to League One, with Cooper forming a formidable centre defence partnership with Ian Evatt to help Chesterfield become the League Two Champions. At the end of the season, Cooper was named in the PFA Team of the Year along with two other Chesterfield players.
On 30 July 2014, after speculation linking him to Leeds United, Leeds confirmed that they had had two separate bids rejected by Chesterfield to sign Cooper. On 12 August 2014 both Chesterfield and Leeds United announced that a transfer fee had been agreed, subject to passing a medical and personal terms being agreed