Former Ireland striker shares how he could have signed for Celtic in 2009

By John McGinley

June 17, 2021

Former Republic of Ireland striker Simon Cox has shared how he could have signed for Celtic from Swindon Town back in 2009, speaking to the Football CFB podcast.

Back in the 2008/09 campaign, Cox had a dynamite season in English League One with Swindon Town, scoring an impressive 30 goals. [Transfermarkt]

It led to significant speculation with regards to Celtic heading into the following summer transfer window. Outlets such as The Scottish Daily Mail and Sky Sports suggested that the Bhoys had serious interest in the player and offers had been made.

Cox has confirmed that a move to Scotland was an option – but it appears the appointment of Tony Mowbray scuppered the plans.

The 30-time capped player told the Football CFB podcast: “I had three clubs that were there all the way through, who were chasing for me to sign. It was West Brom, Newcastle and Celtic.

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“Tony Mowbray was the manager at West Brom then left to go to Celtic. Newcastle had just been relegated and didn’t have a manager. West Brom didn’t have a manager.

“Tony Mowbray was the only person out of all his coaching staff, scouts and director of football at West Brom who didn’t want to take me to West Brom. As soon as he went to Celtic that one died.

“I got the phone call from West Brom to say they were appointing a manager on Monday and they wanted me in on Tuesday. It was Roberto Di Matteo and I went up on Tuesday morning and spoke to him about what kind of manager he is and if he wanted me. Then I ended up signing because they had the manager.”

Cox was then asked about reported Celtic interest in the player from 2012, when Neil Lennon was the boss at the club during his first spell. Again, it was reported by The Scottish Daily Mail that the Bhoys wanted him in the building.

Former Ireland striker Simon Cox could have signed for Celtic / (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

However, according to Cox, it was never really on the cards by that stage. He told the podcast he’d have jumped at the chance of signing for the Bhoys.

His career never really hit the heights of his early promise, but Cox reckons that was down to being exposed to English Premier League football too quickly.

It would have been very interesting to see how he’d have got on at the Hoops after his Swindon heroics. It wasn’t to be!

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s phone call to Leigh Griffiths.