How a Hastings-born footballer helped make Premier League TV history

A Hastings-born and raised footballer starred in the first Premier League match ever to be televised live on the BBC.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 11:00 am
Cook book: Steve Cook is booked during AFC Bournemouth's clash with Crystal Palace - the first Premier League game ever shown live on the BBC / Picture: Getty

Steve Cook captained AFC Bournemouth in their 2-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace behind closed doors on Saturday night.

The first top-flight game to be broadcast live on BBC television since 1988 attracted a peak TV audience of 3.9 million.

Luka Milivojevic's delightful free kick and a neatly-constructed Jordan Ayew goal, both in the first half, condemned relegation-threatened Bournemouth to defeat in their first fixture since the resumption of Premier League football following the coronavirus shutdown.

Cook began with his career at Brighton & Hove Albion, and while with the Seagulls had loan spells at Havant & Waterlooville, Eastleigh, Eastbourne Borough, Mansfield Town and latterly Bournemouth.

The central defender signed for the Cherries on a permanent basis in January 2012 and has subsequently become a pivotal figure in the club's remarkable rise from League One to Premier League regulars.

After winning promotion from the third tier in his first full season at Bournemouth, Cook played in every game as the Cherries clinched the Championship title - and with it promotion to the Premier League for the first time - in 2014/15.

The 29-year-old has featured regularly in the top flight since then. In fact, he played in every minute of Bournemouth's 2016/17 Premier League campaign, making the most clearances of any defender in the division and the most headed clearances by any top flight player.

Cook also won Bournemouth's Daily Echo-Micky Cave Player of the Season award for 2016/17 and the club's Goal of the Season prize for his strike against Liverpool.

He was an ever-present during the first half of the 2018/19 campaign and made his 300th Bournemouth appearance in all competitions against Cardiff City in February 2019.

Cook became Hastings United Football Club's academy ambassador in 2018.