Fox Victor Image 3 Middlesbrough 1922

Fox Victor Image 3 Middlesbrough 1922

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Description

Middlesbrough born right back Victor Fox began his football career with South Bank Juniors and in the aftermath of the First World War, during which he had played for South Bank, East End and Bradford Park Avenue, joined his hometown First Division club Middlesbrough after the return of peacetime football, making his Football League debut at Sheffield Wednesday in August 1919. In his second match (and first at Ayresome Park) he scored his only career goal against Blackburn Rovers.

He lost his place in Middlesbrough’s relegation season of 1923-24, appearing in only 3 games in November, and was released at the end of the season, joining Second Division Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1924 after 112 games for Middlesbrough. He was never a consistent first choice at Wolves and made 49 appearances over four seasons, half of which came in 1927-28 and stayed at Molineux until he joined Newport County in August 1930. He spent the 1930-31 season at Newport County playing 40 times for The Ironsides, but when Newport lost their League status he joined Exeter City in 1931 without making their first eleven. He then retired from professional football and went on to play for Cheshire League teams Manchester Central and Nantwich in 1931 and 1932.

Fox was also a notable cricketer, playing 163 first class matches for Worcestershire between 1923 and 1932. A right-handed batsman, Fox made his first class debut for Worcestershire in May 1923, making 5 and 7 in an innings defeat against Hampshire at Southampton. However, thereafter he contributed some useful innings throughout the season and ended not far short of a thousand runs, including his maiden century, an unbeaten 178 against Northamptonshire. His average that summer was a useful 32.70, but his career came to an enforced (though temporary) end at the end of the season when M.C.C. ruled that his qualification was invalid.Fox’s cricketing career resumed in 1926, and from then until 1930 he was a regular in the Worcestershire team. In a usually weak batting side, Fox performed well, making his thousand runs in 1926, 1928 and 1929, and missing out by a single run in 1927. His best season was 1929; that year he made 1,457 first-class runs at an average of 31, with two hundreds and seven fifties.with a top score of 198 against local rivals Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1929.

His form fell away in 1930, and after hitting 134 against Lancashire at the start of July. Fox made only one further half-century in 15 innings that year to add to his previous 11 centuries and 25 fifties. He played not at all in 1931, and although he appeared four times in 1932 he did nothing of any note in those games.

He was a strictly occasional bowler, sending down fewer than 35 overs in his career and claiming just two first class wickets. His victims were both substantial cricketers: Yorkshire’s George Macaulay in 1926 and Leicestershire’s Alan Shipman in 1929. He also took 88 catches in first class play.

NB in the photograph taken at Ayresome Park on 30th September 1922, Fox chases the ball along with Aston Villa outside right Dickie York. The match finished a 2-2 draw.

 

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