Foley, Theo

Birth Date

2nd April 1937





Biographical Text

Later playing for the Republic of Ireland and managing Charlton Athletic, Theo Foley played for Exeter City between 1955 and 1961. He joined the club from Home Farm as a teenager and moved on to Northampton Town where he was part of the team that climbed from the third-tier to the top-flight during the 1960s. Towards the end of his career he was assistant manager of Arsenal at the time of the club’s 1989 championship success.

Signed by Exeter City from Dublin club Home Farm in February 1955, Theo was eighteen-years-old when he arrived at St James’ Park. Making his debut against Norwich City in September 1955, he enjoyed a run of four games before having to wait until the Southampton game in September 1957 before featuring again. Making the right-back position his own he then embarked on a sequence of playing 34 league games in 1957/58, all 46 league matches in 1958/59 and 45 in 1959/60. Initially seeking a transfer in February 1960, and missing part of the 1960/61 season, Theo remained with City until May 1961 when he was transferred to Northampton Town for £1,000.

Arriving at a club that had just been promoted from Division Four, Theo was to feature in 266 league matches for the Cobblers (scoring 8 goals) as the club won promotion from Division Three at the second attempt before repeating the feat to be promoted to Division One in 1965. Making 31 league appearances during what proved to be Northampton’s solitary season in the top flight, Theo also clocked up nine caps for the Republic of Ireland prior to joining Charlton Athletic in August 1967. Playing no more than a handful of games for his new club, he became chief coach at The Valley in December 1967 and manager between March 1970 and April 1974. 

After serving as manager of Dulwich Hamlet, he held a variety of assistant manager, caretaker manager and coaching positions at Millwall, Queens Park Rangers and Millwall {again) until a stint as assistant manager at Highbury when Arsenal won the First Division in 1989. Subsequently returning to Northampton Town as manager, Theo later became Fulham’s youth manager and was to die aged eighty-three on 20 June 2020.