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Freddie Cox DFC

27 May anniversaries

  • 27 May 1933: Alex Wilson purchased from Greenock Morton
  • 27 May 1948: Doug Lishman signed from Walsall for £10,500
  • 27 May 1953: Final game for Freddie Cox DFC
  • 27 May 1973: Final game for Peter Marinello
  • 27 May 1998: Ian Wright and Martin Keown play for England
  • 27 May 1998: Remi Garde and John Lukic sign one year extensions
  • 27 May 1998: Scot Marshall and Chris Kiwomya released
  • 27 May 1987 Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi (Gervinho) born

Frederick James Arthur Cox was one of the few Arsenal players to have been awarded an honour to commemorate his service to his country in the second world war.   Freddie served as a fighter pilot for the RAF, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The DFC is a military decoration awarded for “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”.

The award goes back to the earliest days of the RAF and during the war was awarded to commissioned officers and Warrant Officers.

Freddie was born 1 November 1920 in Reading, and aged 18 signed for second division Tottenham.  He moved to Arsenal for £12,000 after the war in September 1949.

Freddie’s first match was on 7 September 1949 against West Brom, and from that point on he was a regular in the side.

In the FA Cup semi-final of 1949/50 he scored in the drawn semi-final with Chelsea, scored the only goal in the replay, and laid on the cross that resulted in the only goal in the final which Arsenal duly won.  He obviously had something special going for him in the FA Cup because it took him 32 games in the league that season to score another three goals.

Freddie by now yielded his place to Don Roper or Arthur Milton on numerous occasions and so played only 25 league games (sometimes outside left sometimes outside right).  But in the Cup he played seven and scored five, in the quarter final, semi-final, and semi-final replay.  Arsenal however lost the final 0-1 to Newcastle.

In 1951/2 Freddie played just 10 league games and none in the FA Cup, and didn’t score, and so moved on to West Bromwich Albion as coach (also playing four times for WBA), having played 94 games for Arsenal, scoring 16 goals – all under Tom Whittaker’s management.

In 1956 he moved to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic of the Third Division South as manager and was thus manager for the club’s most famous FA Cup run.

In the first round of the 1956/7 FA Cup Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (or Boscombe as they were known to their supporters) beat Burton Albion 8-0. In the second they beat Swindon Town 0-1 away.  In the third round they had Accrington Stanley at home and won 2-0.

On 26 January 1957 they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers away 0-1, leaving them ready on Saturday, 16 February 1957 to play Tottenham Hotspur at home.  Boscombe won 3-1.  They were finally stopped in the sixth round with a 1-2 home defeat to Manchester United in front of 28,799 fans.

In 1958, Freddie moved to Portsmouth of the first division but couldn’t stop them being relegated and left the club in February 1961.  He returned to football in 1962 as manager of Gillingham, and after just missing promotion twice in 1963/4 they were promoted.  The next season they finished seventh in the third division.

In 1965 he went back to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic taking them to fourth in 1968/69, but they were then relegated the following season to the fourth division.  Freddie was sacked and did not work in football again.

He died in 1973, aged 52. died 7 August 1973.

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