By Jemma Tappenden
December 1 2009
Reading born Simon Cox was scouted for his local football club Reading FC at the tender age of 9. By 2005 aged just 18 he made his first team debut for Reading in an away fixture at Luton Town in the League Cup. His contribution to the club throughout that season earned him a professional contract, and in the following season he made a loan move to Brentford to gain first team experience.
After five appearances his season was cut short when he suffered a broken leg against Millwall on the 26th September 2006. But a quick recovery saw him return to first team action on 26th November. Cox went on to make a further 9 appearances for Brentford before his loan period came to an end on 8th January 2007. By March of that year he began a second loan period, this time at Northampton Town, where he made 8 appearances and scored 3 goals by the end of the season.
Reading extended his contract at the end of that season to keep him at the Madejski until 2008, and during his return spell at the club he scored the winning goal of the Peace Cup against French side Olympique Lyonnaise in the 63rd minute. During the summer break in 2007 Cox signed a six month loan deal with Swindon Town, where he scored 8 goals in 19 appearances.
On 31st January 2008, with just 3 hours of the transfer window to go, Swindon Town signed Cox on a permanent basis from Reading for a reported £200,000. Whilst his first game as a fully fledged Swindon player ended in a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town, Cox got his first taste of success in the following game, scoring his first goal in a 3-0 victory over Cheltenham Town. That season Cox went on to score three hatricks, all away from home, nothing up a total of 35 goals that season – 29 of these in the League, making his the highest league goal scorer in all 4 divisions along with Rickie Lambert of Bristol Rovers who also bagged 29 goals.
In May 2009 Swindon Town rejected a bid for Cox from Leicester City. In June that year Swindon Town announced that they had accepted a bid of £1.9 million from West Bromwich Albion for the striker, with the deal signed and sealed on 2nd July 2009.