A tribute from Len's brother in law, John Keary
Nigel Leonard (Len) Cox
Born 7th January 1938; died 2nd November 2018
Born in Birmingham,with hisformative years inSutton Coldfield, Len boarded at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School from 1949 to 1954 along with the celebrated Peter Robbins. A keen sportsman, he represented the School at cricket at several age groups. Len’s first love was soccer, but he readily adapted to the rugby code at BVGS. He later played a number of games for the Old Veseyans’ RFC. Len subsequently discovered that he was a Type 1 diabetic – something that he fought to come to terms with when surprisingly little was known about effective treatment.He lived in Maney Hill and Boldmere and went on regular camping holidays in Torquay with a group of good friends that included Roger Hawkes and Jeff Horton. 1956-58 saw National Service in the Royal Army Education Corps as a Sergeant in Bielefeld.
Len started a long career in purchasing with GKN Birwelco in 1958 and moved to Pressed Steel Fisher (part of British Leyland) the following year. In 1971 he married Pat, nee Keary, and they moved to Offenham in the Vale of Evesham. By the mid 70s, he was Chief Buyer and from 1978-82 Purchase Agent responsible for all engineering steels, including forgings and castings. He survived several major restructures but found himself in the wrong place when BL split into 2 divisions in 1982 at the end of Michael Edwardes’ reign.
Seeking a clean break from the motors sector, his love of gardening led Len to take over a wholesale and retail fruit and vegetable company in Evesham, also buying a shop in the town and rapidly increasing its turnover. Pat left her job with the NHS to join him. Eventually, the 24/7 pressures of this business became too much for them, and he returned to the car business via roles in components such as die castings and pressings, while Pat joined the Fire Services Training College in Moreton in the Marsh. The final phase of his career was to build a successful agency inspecialised steels.
In retirement, Len and Pat continued to walk throughout the Cotswolds and Herefordshire and to enjoy holidays in a favouritecorner of Greece. Health issues became more and more dominant, but this did not prevent Len from taking an active role in Diabetes UK. A life-long supporter of Aston Villa, he attended a match with close friends just two weeks before he died.