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Arthur Cox (footballer)

Arthur Cox (footballer)
Personal information
Place of birthSoutham, England

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Arthur Cox (born 14 December 1939 in Southam, Warwickshire) is a former English football manager.

Cox has managed a number of clubs including Chesterfield, Newcastle United, where he won promotion to the First Division and introduced future international players such as Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle. He also gave Newcastle a cult hero in Kevin Keegan, the former England striker, who joined the club in 1982 and was instrumental in their promotion two years later before hanging up his boots.

Curiously, Cox left Newcastle just after their promotion in 1984 and took over at Derby County, who had just been relegated to the Third Division. He took them to promotion two years later and the following year, 1987, they won the Second Division title to end a seven-year exile from the First Division. In October 1988, he paid a club record £1million for striker Dean Saunders who quickly established himself as one of the best strikers in the English league and along with the likes of defender Mark Wright saw the Rams emerge as surprise title contenders in the 1988 89 season, though in the end they finished fifth. His other notable acquisitions included goalkeeper Peter Shilton, midfielder Trevor Hebberd and winger Ted McMinn.

However, chairman Robert Maxwell was unwilling to grant Cox further funds to buy top players and this sabotaged their chances of further challenges for honours. In 1991, just after Maxwell sold the club to new owner Lionel Pickering, Derby County were relegated and had to sell several key players including Saunders and Wright (who both joined Liverpool).

However, Pickerking's funds enabled Cox to bring in expensive new signings including Marco Gabbiadini , Paul Simpson , Craig Short and Tommy Johnson who were all among the most expensive signings ever made by clubs outside the top flight. Craig Short, for instance, joined the Rams in September 1992 from under the noses of Blackburn Rovers, who were competing in the top flight and had just set a national transfer record fee by signing Alan Shearer.

The Rams just missed out on automatic promotion from the Second Division in 1991 92 and their hopes of a place in the new FA Premier League were ended when they lost to eventual promotion winners Blackburn Rovers in the playoff semi finals. However, new owner Pickering had given Cox the money to buy key players such as Tommy Johnson, Marco Gabbiadini and Craig Short, which saw Derby begin the 1992 93 season as most people's firm favourites for the new Division One title. However, they could only manage an eighth place finish not even enough for the playoffs and Cox resigned the following October due to ill health, handing over the reins to his assistant Roy McFarland.

He was never employed as a manager again, although he was linked with managerial vacancies more than once after leaving Derby - including the Middlesbrough job in May 1994 - and he would remain in football in coaching capacities until 2004.

He has also worked as assistant manager at various clubs such as Sunderland and Galatasaray, and often as 'right-hand man' to fellow manager Kevin Keegan. The two worked together at Fulham and then with the England national team. Keegan wanted to appoint Cox as England's assistant manager, but the FA would not allow it because he was over 60, so Cox was given a coaching position instead. Cox resigned, along with fellow coach Peter Beardsley, following the departure of Keegan in October 2000.

They linked up again at Manchester City, where Cox was promoted from chief scout to assistant manager in April 2002. He announced his retirement from football in 2004 but later returned as first-team coach with Keegan at Newcastle between January and August 2008, before he retired again.

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