Sunday, 02 December 2012 10:37

Steve Fox

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sFOXWe have sadly received an email from Daniel Fox this evening, who informed us of the passing away of his father, former Wrexham winger Steve Fox who was just 54.

Steve was signed by manager Arfon Griffiths for £95,000 from Birmingham City at Christmas 1978 and made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Preston North End on Boxing Day 1978, and went on to spend four years at the Racecourse, spent mostly playing Second Division (Championship) football.

At the Racecourse Steve mesmerised defences with his blistering pace and skilful ball control. He was an exciting player to watch, as was shown by his popularity with the fans. He won the Wrexham 'Player of the Season' award in 1981, and figured in the famous F.A.Cup wins over Nottingham Forest and holders West Ham United, as well as playing in Europe against the East German side F.C.Magdeburg.

He stayed with Wrexham until just after the start of the 1982/83 season, following the club's relegation to the Third Division. Due to the crippling financial situation Wrexham could no longer afford to pay his Second Division wages, and he was allowed to join Port Vale on a free transfer! This after turning down the chance of going to Newcastle United for a trial.

He went on to help the 'Valiants' to promotion in 1982/83, and was voted by his fellow professionals into the P.F.A's Division Four side that same season.

At the end of 1983/84 he rejoined his previous manager at Vale, John McGrath, at Chester. It proved to be a big mistake: when McGrath left Sealand Road, Harry McNally took over, and he and Steve quickly fell out with each other. Fox became an outcast at the club, a situation that eventually led to him having his contract cancelled by Chester in October 1985.

He later sampled non-league football with Rhyl, Llangollen and Tamworth before finally giving up playing altogether, retuning to his native Tamworth where he worked as a gardener.

Steve's early career had seen him play for Tamworth at 15, having appeared in the town's Mercian School team, from where he represented Birmingham County schoolboys. He also played for Aston Villa Boys, Gillway Boys and Wiggington Juniors before Birmingham City scout Don Dorman persuaded him to sign apprentice terms for Birmingham City at the age of 16 in 1974.

Steve spent almost four years at St.Andrew's, mainly as understudy to Trevor Francis, making his Football League debut for the 'Blues' in February 1977 as a substitute for Kevan Broadhurst in a 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion. Steve went on to make another 28 League appearances for Birmingham, scoring one goalin a 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle United in April 1977.

Our deepest sympathy to Steve's family. RIP Steve Fox.