Veteran world clay pigeon shooting champion dies aged 96

Arthur John Cook, former world clay pigeon shooter champion has died aged 96

Arthur John Cook, from Thurston who was a world clay pigeon shooter champion, has died aged 96 - Credit: JCM

A veteran world clay pigeon shooting champion, who met with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, has died aged 96.  

Arthur John Cook, more commonly known as John Cook as he was named after his grandfather, was also Life President at Thurston Cricket Club.  

Grandson of Mr Cook, Dr John F. Mueller said he was a family man who was greatly loved.  

He added: “He trained as an RAF pilot, but blessedly never saw active service in World War Two as the war had ended by the time, he was qualified. He was, however, awarded the War Medal.  

 “After the war he was going to enter a career in banking but followed love instead. 

“Rather than having to run around the country and follow the banks he settled down in Suffolk where he came from and took over his father's farm near Bury St Edmunds and the reason, he settled there for love was because my grandmother lived round there.” 

Later in life Mr Cook, who lived at Thurston, spent more time on his hobbies, one being clay pigeon shooting.  

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Dr Mueller said his grandfather was a “really good shot.” 

He said: “When he sort of slipped into retirement, he realised he was a really good shot and he had no formal training at all - this was just years and years and years of practice on the farm.  

“In 1985 he competed in France in clay pigeon shooting and became the world champion. He was terribly proud of this, almost as proud as he was when he was invited to Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen as a result of that.” 

As well as this the world champion was also a very keen sports player. 

“He was always a sportsman, he loved cricket he used to play for Great Barton and then later for Thurston for many years. 

“He also competed in the dahlia competition at the Suffolk show and he always used to pip the Earl of Bristol to the post for first prize,” Dr Mueller said. 

The family of Mr Cook have said there will be no funeral but are asking for donations to St Peter’s Church, Thurston.