Reading, Berkshire born outside right Freddie Cox played for St George’s Lads Club in 1935 and joined Second Division Tottenham Hotspur as an amateur in 1936. They loaned him to their nursery club Northfleet in 1937 and he returned to Spurs as a professional in August 1938 making his Football League debut that November at Swansea Town scoring in a 1-1 draw. He had scored twice in 9 appearances by the time the outbreak of the Second World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in September 1939.
During the War Cox served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. In his spare time he made guest appearances for his hometown club, Reading, and for Swindon Town. but after the War he resumed at White Hart Lane playing three more seasons for Tottenham Hotspur before joining rivals Arsenal for £12,000 in September 1949 after 17 goals in 105 appearances. Cox made his Arsenal debut straight away, on 7th September 1949 against West Bromwich Albion, and became an immediate regular in the side.
At Arsenal he won the FA Cup in 1950 when they beat Liverpool 2-0 at Wembley and was a finalist two years later when they lost 1-0 to Newcastle United. He played 9 times in his final season as they won the 1952-53 League Championship before moving to West Bromwich Albion as player-coach under manager Vic Buckingham in July 1953 after 16 goals in 94 appearances for The Gunners. However he only made 4 appearances for West Brom, scoring once, during the 1953-54 season before retiring from playing.
He became manager of Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in April 1956 and pulled off a giant-killing feat in beating Wolverhampton Wanderers and Spurs in the 1957 FA Cup to reach the sixth round, in which they lost to Manchester United, before joining Portsmouth as manager in August 1958, but he was sacked by Pompey in February 1961 during their relegation season. He joined Gillingham in June 1962 and had an immediate impact, taking a side that had finished 20th the previous season up to 5th place, missing out on promotion on goal average.
While Cox’s Gillingham team became renowned for their defensive discipline and unadventurous style, he led them to the Fourth Division Championship in 1963-64. The next season they started well and looked set to win a second successive promotion before slumping late on and finishing seventh. Cox resigned just before Christmas 1965 and re-joined his old club Bournemouth as manager in December 1965, staying in the post until April 1970 before leaving professional football.