DLC in Physical Education, 1963
John Cooper achieved international recognition as an intermediate hurdler, but his first athletic success was as a triple jumper – he won the English Schools intermediate title in 1957.
He took up the 400m hurdles in 1960, and whilst at Loughborough, he set the British record of 50.5seconds, still placing him on the Loughborough Students’ Athletic Club all time performances list.
John won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 with a personal best of 50.1seconds. He was also part of the 4x400m relay team which won silver, completing his (third) leg in 45.4 seconds running alongside fellow Loughborough graduate and Hall of Fame inductee Robbie Brightwell
Sadly, injury hastened the end of his career. He died in the Paris air disaster of 1974 after watching the France v England rugby international.
The John Cooper Bar (JC’s) in Loughborough Students’ Union was named after him in the late 70’s and was re-dedicated to him again in 2000 in memory of his achievements.