Cooksey started his career as a trainee at Colchester United, but failed to make an impact. He wasn't offered a professional deal and dropped into non-league football joining a host of clubs including Heybridge Swifts, Bishop's Stortford, Bromley, Chesham United and then onto Crawley Town.|
Then Crawley boss, Bob Dowie, recommended the 23-year old midfielder to his brother Iain who was in charge at Oldham Athletic. Cooksey played 40-odd appearances for the Latics, netting six times. New Oldham manager, Brian Talbot, deemed Ernie surplus to requirements and made it clear his appearances would be limited and allowed him to leave Boundary Park for Rochdale on 16th September 2004.
Cooksey signed a two-year contract at Spotland at went on to make 100 appearances in all competitions for The Dale, spanning over two and a half seasons.
Boston United signed him on a six-month contract on the final day of the January transfer window in 2007, turning down two other League clubs to sign for the Pilgrims. Ernie spent the majority of his time at the Staffsmart Stadium as a substitute, until the player crisis arose when he operated as a central midfielder. After United's relegation and the four months worth of wages owed, Cooksey left the Pilgrims unattached admitting he wanted to move back to London.
The Bishop's Stortford-born midfielder, had an unsuccessful trial with Paul Fairclough's Barnet in the 2007/08 pre-season. Cooksey also publicly admitted he would like to rejoin his former Boston manager, Steve Evans at his old club Crawley Town.
He said: "I really enjoyed my time at Crawley and, although I know at lot has changed there since my time, I would definitely like to come back and play for them.
"I am quite settled in Manchester with my girlfriend now but if I was going to move back down to London, then Crawley would be the perfect club to play for."
However, Ernie since joined Grays Athletic and signed a two-year contract with the Blues on 12th July 2007.
Details correct as of 30th July 2007
Pictures Â© Grays Athletic 1982 Ltd.