Neil Cox 1957 – 1996

Neil’s talents on the guitar didn’t go unnoticed by his colleagues and he was asked to accompany Finbar Furey on a UK tour. Finbar, himself a great musician, became firm friends with Neil and once described him as a “genius on the guitar.”

In 1981, The Fureys released their most successful single “When You Were Sweet Sixteen”, becoming a worldwide hit, reaching #14 on the UK Singles Chart,  #1 on the Irish Singles Chart and #9 on the Australian Singles Chart. “The Green Fields of France” also gave them an Irish #1, remaining in the single charts for twenty eight weeks. They also had two Top 40 British albums called Golden Days and At the End of the Day.

Playing with Finbar lead to him being invited to stand in for the guitarist with The Dubliners on one of their tours.

The Dubliners created international success with their lively Irish folk songs, traditional street ballads and instrumentals. The band were regulars on the folk scenes in both Dublin and London in the early 1960s, until they were signed to the Minor Major label in 1965 after backing from Dominic Behan. They went on to receive extensive airplay on Radio Caroline, and eventually appeared on Top of the Pops in 1967 with hits “Seven Drunken Nights” and “Black Velvet Band”. Often performing songs considered controversial at the time, they drew criticism from some folk purists and Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ had placed an unofficial ban on their music from 1967-71. During this time the band’s popularity began to spread across mainland Europe and they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. The group’s success remained steady right through the 1970s and a number of collaborations with The Pogues in 1987 saw them enter the UK Singles Chart on another two occasions

Despite his all-consuming passion for music Neil found time to study Psychology at Fircroft College in Selly Oak where he made many friends.

Around this time he also struck up a friendship with Seamus Mallon and formed a band called ‘Sham’ (Gaelic for “friend”). Between them they wrote and recorded fine music. Read more…


The Fureys. (2012, June 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:30, June 21, 2012, from
The Dubliners. (2012, June 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:30, June 21, 2012, from
This entry was posted in Memorials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Neil Cox 1957 – 1996

  1. Kevin Grey says:

    I saw Neil play many times and was always blown away by his skill on the guitar, I later on asked him for some guitar lessons and he warmly obliged. I payed for an hour but sometimes ended up at his house for more than 2 hours. He was incredibly generous and I often play the pieces that he showed me. A great talent sadly missed. I have since found great videos on youtube of Neil and Aiden playing together –

  2. John Hanlon says:

    Neil – he was a lovely guy and a great talent – I have many happy memories of listening to Neil and Aiden when we were young – I stopped playing the guitar because they were just too good! God bless them both. John Hanlon

  3. Louise Mayer says:

    Oh Neil, twenty years since you left us. thank you for being a good friend, for the gigs and recordings we shared, for teaching and encouraging me to play guitar and for being the loveliest person. Miss you and love you Neil <3 XXXX

  4. joeforde says:

    I remember Neil as a fine friend and an excellent musician. We spent many happy hours together in our youth.

Leave a Reply using Twitter or Facebook