Jonathan James Hooper (born 9 October 1993) is an English footballer who plays as a forward for League Two club Grimsby Town.
He graduated through the Newcastle United Academy, and played on loan at Darlington 1883 and Workington. He joined Northampton Town in July 2013, and featured in only five games as he spent time on loan at Alfreton Town and Farnborough. He joined Havant & Waterlooville in June 2014, and had a successful 2014–15 campaign as he helped the club to reach the play-offs. He signed a two-year contract with Port Vale in August 2015, before returning on loan to Northampton Town 12 months later. He signed with Grimsby Town in August 2017.
Born in Greenwich, Hooper began his footballing career at Cray Wanderers Academy. He made one first-team appearance for Cray in a London Senior Cup tie in February 2011. On 19 August 2011, Hooper signed a two-year scholarship deal with Newcastle United, and scored a hat-trick against Chelsea under-18's the following day. On 14 November 2012, Hooper was loaned to Northern League side Darlington 1883. He made one appearance for Darlington, where he played in the Northern League Cup. A month later, he joined Workington of the Conference North on loan. In February 2013, he was released by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
In July 2013, Hooper signed a one-year deal with Northampton Town, after impressing on trial. On 3 August, he made his debut in the Football League, replacing Danny Emerton late into a 1–0 defeat to York City at Bootham Crescent. He joined Conference Premier side Alfreton Town on a one-month loan deal on 28 November 2013. He made his debut for Nicky Law's "Reds" in the FA Trophy in a 1–0 defeat to Nuneaton Town at North Street two days later. On 14 March 2014, Hooper joined Conference South side Farnborough on loan until the end of the 2013–14 season. He scored six goals in 11 games which helped the "Yellows" to avoid relegation. He was released by Northampton at the end of the season.
In June 2014, Hooper signed with Lee Bradbury's Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville. The "Hawks" reached the play-offs at the end of the 2014–15 season, losing to Boreham Wood at the semi-final stage. He finished the campaign with 13 goals in 37 league games, and he also scored seven further goals in FA Cup qualifying, Hampshire Senior Cup and Portsmouth Senior Cup games. He was called up to the England C team in May 2015, but did not win a cap.
Hooper had trials at Scottish sides Dunfermline Athletic, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Raith Rovers in summer 2015, before playing two friendlies for Cheltenham Town. He impressed enough to win a contract with the club and was photographed with manager Gary Johnson when he was informed of interest from League One club Port Vale; Hooper sneaked out of Whaddon Road to speak with Port Vale shortly before he was due to sign a contract with Cheltenham. The Cheltenham club website initially reported that Hooper had signed a one-year contract. In August 2015, he was revealed as a Port Vale player after signing a two-year contract with the club. The Football Association ruled that Port Vale pay Havant & Waterlooville £8,400 in compensation as the player was under 24. Manager Rob Page gave Hooper substitute appearances of gradually increasing length, and he scored his first goal for the "Valiants" after coming on at half-time in a defeat to Millwall at The Den on 17 January, which was his tenth appearance for the club. He then began starting games, however lost his first team place to new signing Theo Robinson in February. On 12 March, he was named as The Sentinel's "star player" after coming off the bench on 66 minutes at Peterborough United to score a goal as Vale turned round a 2–1 deficit to win the game 3–2. After scoring three goals in five games in April, he won the first ever League One PFA Fans' Player of the Month award.
He entered the 2016–17 pre-season in good fitness after having put in extra work with former long jump athlete Matt Burton, alongside Charlton Athletic players Jordan Cousins and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis. However new manager Bruno Ribeiro began to play him on the right-wing rather than at centre-forward, and Hooper returned to former club Northampton Town – now in League One and managed by former Vale boss Rob Page – on a five-month loan on 22 August. He scored his first goal for the "Cobblers" in a 6–0 victory over Harrow Borough in an FA Cup First Round match at Sixfields on 5 November. He made eight starts and five substitute appearances for the "Cobblers", before being ruled out with a thigh injury in November and returning to Vale Park in January when Michael Brown replaced Ribeiro as manager. He was named in the EFL Team of the Week after he played a crucial role in Vale's 3–2 home victory over Swindon Town in a "relegation six-pointer" on 12 March, scoring two goals from left-midfield – including a perfectly placed free kick – and forcing a red card from defender Bradley Barry. He was released by Brown following the club's relegation in May 2017.
On 8 August 2017, Hooper signed a two-year contract with League Two side Grimsby Town on a free transfer, having spent the last few weeks on trial at the club.
Primarily a forward, he can also play as a winger. Speaking in December 2015, Port Vale assistant manager Paul Bodin said that Hooper had excellent natural "one-on-one basic technical finishing" skills, but needed further full-time training to improve his other attributes.As of match played 12 September 2017