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Simon Cox

Born: 28th April 1987 
Nationality: Ireland 
Position: Striker 
Royals first team debut:  Reading 1-0 Luton Town – 20/09/05 
Appearances: 41(+28)* 
Goals: 9

Cox’s story:
Cox was drafted into our Academy setup after having been spotted by first team coach Kevin Dillon while playing for his son’s team at age eight. 

The Tilehurst-born striker penned a contract with the Royals and made his first team debut as a substitute in the League Cup win against Luton at Madejski Stadium in September 2005. 

Featuring six times as a substitute for the senior team that season, Cox found himself fourth in the pool of strikers – behind the Irish duo Shane Long and Kevin Doyle and the bargain buy of previous seasons Dave Kitson. 

Due to the supremacy of strikers before him, the Reading-born forward embarked on loan spells to Brentford, Northampton and Swindon Town in search of regular first team football. 

That journey subsequently put his Reading days on hold when he signed for the Robbins on a permanent basis in 2008, for a fee to believe to be in excess of £200,000.      

Beyond the hoops:  
Cox caught the eye of several Premier League outfits during his time at the County Ground, the striker finishing the 2008/09 season as joint top scorer in all top four divisions of English football – alongside Bristol Rovers’ Rickie Lambert, Cox scored three hat-tricks on the way to he’s 29 count come the end of the season.  

Sure enough, his form brought a switch in scenery, with Championship side West Brom paying £1.5 million for his services in July 2009. 

He opened his account for the Baggies with a winning goal in that season’s Carling Cup fixture against Rotherham, and notched another nine times in the league as Roberto Di Matteo’s men were bound for Top Flight football the coming season. 

Back in the hoops: 
After a brace of seasons against Premier League opposition, and two years of football playing for Nottingham Forest where he bagged himself the Football League’s Goal of the Year award for 2013, Cox decided he wasn’t ready to give his hometown club up just yet, re-joining as the first signing for Manager Nigel Adkins’ on 7th August 2014. 

He finally put his demons to bed, nine years after making his debut as a substitute for the Royals, on 12th August he finally made his first start in a hooped shirt – and a week later he netted his first Reading goal against Huddersfield. 

He spent the majority of the first half of the 2015/16 season on loan at Bristol City, before returning to Madejski Stadium in January of the new year and he scored his final goal in Royals colours in agonising defeat to Middlesbrough at the Riverside that April.  

Beyond the hoops: 
On 16 July 2016, Southend United announced the signing of Cox on a two-year deal after he committed his future to the Shrimpers until at least the summer of 2018.

Cox scored his first goal for the club in a 3–0 win away at Sheffield United on 16th August 2016. And, in scoring a last gasp winner for Southend against Rochdale later that same season, he bagged his 100th career goal in dramatic circumstances at Roots Hall. 

Cox scored the first of his 100 whilst on loan from Reading in 2007, notching for Northampton in a 2-0 win at Leyton Orient nearly ten years ago - but his 100th saw him join an illustrious group of (at the time) just three other Reading Academy graduates to have made it to their career tons – Shane Long, Nathan Tyson and Darius Henderson being the other centurions. 

*Stats correct as of 01/06/17