Arthur Cox (footballer)

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Arthur Cox
Cox in May 2006
Personal information
Date of birth (1939-12-14) 14 December 1939 (age 81)
Place of birth Southam, England
Teams managed
1976–1980 Chesterfield
1980–1984 Newcastle United
1984–1993 Derby County

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


He was unable to become a professional football player as he broke his leg playing in a reserve game for Coventry City. [1] He spent time coaching at Sunderland and in Turkey, before he was given his first management position.


Cox started his management career at Chesterfield in 1976 where he stayed for four years before joining Newcastle United. Here 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 retiring.

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 Brian Fearn, Derby County were relegated and had to sell several key players including Saunders and Wright (who both joined Liverpool).

However, Pickering'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. Short, for instance, joined Derby 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.

Derby County 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 Johnson, Gabbiadini and 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 - [2] 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, [3] so Cox was given a coaching position instead. Cox resigned, along with fellow coach Peter Beardsley, following the departure of Keegan in October 2000. [4]

They linked up again at Manchester City, where Cox was promoted from chief scout to assistant manager in April 2002. [5] He announced his retirement from football in 2004 [6] but later returned as first-team coach with Keegan at Newcastle between January and August 2008, before he retired again. [7]

Managerial statistics


All competitive league games (league and domestic cup) and international matches (including friendlies) are included.

As of 11 April 2015
Chesterfield England1976–1980206775376037.38
Newcastle United England1980–1984182784658042.86
Derby County England1984–1993454184109161040.53
Career Total842339208295040.26

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  1. Strange, Jonathan. A Tenner and Box of Kippers: The Story of Keith Houchen (Stadia, 2006, ISBN   978-0-7524-3796-5)
  2. Shaw, Phil (3 May 1994). "Football: Lawrence leaves Middlesbrough". The Independent. London.
  3. "Keegan's swipe at FA". BBC Sport. 8 April 2002. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  4. "Beardsley and Cox follow Keegan". BBC Sport. 8 October 2000. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  5. "Man City promote Cox". BBC Sport. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  6. "Cox calls it a day". BBC Sport. 12 June 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
  7. "Deportivo accept Newcastle's Coloccini offer". 6 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.