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Boro v Bolton Wanderers: They Played For Both - The Great Neil Cox

What a player

Neil Cox of Bolton controls the bal

In the current climate, there are lots of ‘greatest’ knocking about.

* ‘Greatest’ Royal Rumble - my arse.

* Pawel Olkowski - maybe. Too soon.

However the subject of today’s piece can quite easily be described as one of the greatest. In this day and age the label is thrown around willy nilly. I don’t often agree with how it is applied but there are certain people and certain occasions when I can fully endorse just how appropriate it is.

Neil Cox.

Starting his career at Scunthorpe United, he moved to Aston Villa in 1991. He then moved to Middlesbrough for £1m in 1994 as their first ever million-pound signing, making over 100 appearances before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 1997 for £1.5m.

He made 80 appearances for us, scoring 7 goals before moving on to Watford but nobody really cares about that.

It was during his time at Wanderers that he cemented his legacy. Making his name as an attacking right back, he combined strength with speed, power, authority, desire, athleticism, gracefulness, spirit, spunk and all-round incredible play. What a man.

His ability to speed up the right flank in support of his winger was a sight to behold and has been something that we have dearly lacked in the two decades since he left the club.

We haven’t had a decent right-back since.

Cox could also get up and score. Averaging just shy of one every 10 games, he was more than just a right-back.

I dearly hope that our new mate Pawel can reach those heights, he’s certainly started on the right path.

But this isn’t about him, it’s about Neil Cox. The best right back in the last twenty years.

I salute you.