Reading Football Club has announced that striker Simon Cox has completed a move from Nottingham Forest to sign a two-year-deal at Madejski Stadium this afternoon.
The 27-year-old Reading-born forward returns to the club where he came through the Academy ranks, first joining the Royals at the tender age of nine.
“I’m very lucky to have played once for this football club and signing the second time feels just as good,” Cox said. “I still know a lot of the players here so bedding in shouldn’t be too hard for me! I’m delighted to be here and I can’t wait to get started again.”
More than ten years ago, Cox won the Maurice Edelston Award for the outstanding schoolboy in the Academy system and he progressed through the age groups to star for the under-18s and reserve team, before making his professional debut in a Carling Cup win over Luton Town in September 2005.
After the Royals earned promotion to the Premier League that season, Cox enjoyed loan spells with Brentford, Northampton Town and Swindon, with whom he would sign a permanent deal in January 2008.
His first goal for Reading’s senior team was the winner against Lyon during our pre-season Peace Cup campaign in July 2007, but in his first full season at the County Ground he scored an incredible 29 league goals to finish joint top scorer across all four divisions in 2008/9, equalling the tally of Bristol Rovers’ Rickie Lambert and earning the Robins’ Player of the Season award as a result.
A move to West Bromwich Albion saw Cox earn promotion to the Premier League in his first season with the Baggies. His opening Premier League goal came against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and come the summer of 2011 he had become a regular for the Republic of Ireland, scoring on debut in a friendly against Northern Ireland before bagging again against Italy the following month.
He went on to play a part in all three of the Republic of Ireland’s games in the European Championships in 2012, featuring for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men against Croatia, Spain and Italy.
Back at home, he moved to Nottingham Forest and made 64(+18) appearances during two seasons at the City Ground, winning the Football League’s Award for ‘Goal of the Year’ thanks to a spectacular effort against Birmingham City and scoring against the Royals at the City Ground last November.
Now, with a vast amount of top flight and international experience under his belt, he will represent the blue and white hoops once more, 18 years after he first entered the club’s Academy system.
Manager Nigel Adkins said, “I’d like to welcome Simon to Reading Football Club. He is a player who has experience of playing in the Championship, the Premier League and at international level. I’m sure having met him that he will provide a positivity, a hunger and a desire to work hard with a group of players who have a fantastic team spirit.”
The fee involved will remain undisclosed and the deal remains subject to the normal ratification procedures of the relevant football authorities.