When Tam Courts was unveiled as the new Dundee United manager, the question became, which experienced assistant would be by his side?
In Liam Fox, Courts has a right hand man who worked his way up the coaching ladder at Hearts and Cowdenbeath before earning No 2 status in the Premiership with Livingston.
The 37-year-old comes highly recommended after a good playing career and is viewed as having “a fantastic reputation” among young coaches in Scottish football.
He has already been on the staff at one of the country’s top clubs and worked under some of the best managers in our game.
But just who is Liam Fox?
Dyed-in-the-wool Jambo plays lead role at Livi with spells at Inverness and Raith
As a player, Fox was a central midfielder with a good engine and was known for his technical ability.
Born and bred in Edinburgh, he was raised a Hearts fan and came through the Gorgie club’s youth system.
He failed to make a single appearance in maroon but had a brief spell on loan with Crusaders in Northern Ireland before leaving Tynecastle for Inverness in 2004.
Fox would spend two seasons at Caley Thistle as he sampled his first taste of Scottish top team football in the Highlands.
He would score four goals in 26 games for an ICT side playing in the top flight for the first time in the club’s history, working under Dundee United’s 1994 Scottish Cup-winning legend Craig Brewster.
In 2006, Fox departed the Caledonian Stadium and linked up at Livingston, where he became something of a club legend, captaining the side and winning trophies.
At Almondvale, albeit after dropping down a division, he played a lead role for the Lions and worked under the likes of John Robertson, former United men Paul Hegarty and Gary Bollan, and John Hughes.
Fox starred for Livi, scoring 24 goals in 208 appearances over seven seasons, playing alongside household names like Robert Snodgrass, former Dundee players Leigh Griffiths and Graham Dorrans as well as current Dee boss James McPake.
While those four would move on to pastures new, Fox was a crucial part of the team that won promotion back to the First Division in 2011 after the club’s demotion to the fourth tier following administration in 2009.
That sealed his hero status among the Livi fans before he moved on to Raith Rovers in 2013, signing for Grant Murray.
At Stark’s Park, Fox enjoyed two campaigns in the Championship, making 65 appearances and beating Rangers to the Challenge Cup in 2014, before retiring from playing in 2015, aged just 31.
Fox returns to Hearts as coach where he becomes a part of Craig Levein’s managerial succession plan
He remained registered as a player for a season but when Fox returned to Hearts, back to where it all began, it was as a coach.
Robbie Neilson was the Jam Tarts’ manager at the time, with Craig Levein director of football and the likes of Jack Ross, Jon Daly, Andy Kirk and Stevie Crawford on the coaching staff.
Fox was just as important to Levein as the others listed but was allowed to take on the Cowdenbeath job in 2016.
His sole season at Central Park didn’t go to plan, however, with Fox leaving Cowden languishing dead bottom of League Two in March 2017.
He would return to Hearts soon after and take up his former position in Levein’s managerial succession plan, working under the ex-United boss as a first-team coach.
Fox became the Jambos’ reserve team head coach in 2019 following Daniel Stendel’s appointment before leaving Gorgie for a third time in 2020.
He spent most of last season as David Martindale’s No 2 at Livi, helping guide the Lions to a top-six finish and a League Cup final.
Fox left Almondvale in May, with Hibs reportedly interested in securing his services for a reunion with former Hearts colleague Jack Ross.
However, as revealed by Tele Sport, Fox turned down the Hibees and instead opted to move to Tannadice.
He will serve as Courts’ No 2 when the 2021/22 season kicks off with a Premier Sports Cup trip to Kelty Hearts on July 9.
What do Courts and Asghar say about him?
What does Courts make of his sidekick?
Speaking to DUTV, the new United boss said: “I took a little bit of time to really think about what the players and I needed to make sure there were some complimentary skills.
“I’m appointing Liam Fox as my No 2. He’s someone who has a fantastic reputation throughout Scotland for his coaching competence.
“His experience in the game, he was in a cup final with Livingston recently, so, again, he’s someone else who’s on an upward trajectory.”
Sporting director Tony Asghar was pleased with the appointment, too.
He added: “Liam is a highly respected coach who achieved success last season and fits directly into what we are aiming to achieve.
“He holds a Uefa Pro Licence and has vast experience on the training ground, working with Scottish Premiership players.
“It is an exciting team who I am looking forward to working with.”