A MAN who failed his 11-Plus exam in Huddersfield has carved out a hugely successful career in the USA.
Gordon Cooper is now general manager of a large JCB factory in Savannah, Georgia - and he enjoys a great life in the beautiful port town, with a lagoon at the bottom of his back garden.
His success has delighted his parents, Derek and Joyce Cooper, of Aldonley, Almondbury.
It meant they were doubly interested in the Examiner's recent coverage of the new land speed record set by a diesel car, as it was built by a JCB team and included two men from Huddersfield - Gordon and Mark Davies.
That record-breaking car now has pride of place in the JCB factory managed by 56-year-old Mr Cooper.
He went to Almondbury High School after failing to secure a grammar school place and left to seek an engineering apprenticeship at Huddersfield Technical College.
He was taken on by Brook Motors and became Apprentice of the Year. He later worked at the Holset factory in Huddersfield before moving away to take a degree course in engineering at Swansea University.
He joined JCB 12 years ago and was asked to help set up their new factory in Georgia.
The Stateside lifestyle appealed to him and he moved into a new home with wife Andrea, who he met at Holset, and son Martyn.
Mr Cooper used to play for Huddersfield Rugby Union Club and the YMCA.
He now keeps fit by organising touch and pass games for his workmates.