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Martin Foyle
Martin Foyle York City v. AFC Telford United 1.png
Personal information
Full name Martin John Foyle[1]
Date of birth 2 May 1963 (1963-05-02) (age 46)[1]
Place of birth Salisbury, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club York City (manager)
Youth career
Bemerton Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1984 Southampton 13 (1)
1982 → Munkfors (loan) ? (?)
1984 Blackburn Rovers (loan) 0 (0)
1984–1987 Aldershot 98 (35)
1987–1991 Oxford United 126 (36)
1991–2000 Port Vale 296 (83)
Teams managed
2004–2007 Port Vale
2008 Wrexham (caretaker)
2008– York City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Martin John Foyle (born 2 May 1963) is an English former footballer and the current manager of York City.

He started his career with Southampton as a trainee and after spending four years at the club, during which he was loaned out on two occasions, he joined Aldershot. A move to Oxford United followed and he became Port Vale's record signing when they paid £375,000 for him in 1991. He spent nine seasons at the club, where he scored 107 goals, making him the club's record post-war goalscorer. After retiring, he managed the club's youth team and in 2004 took charge of first-team affairs, eventually leaving the club in 2007 by mutual consent. A spell as caretaker manager at Wrexham preceded his appointment as manager of York City in 2008.


Playing career



Foyle was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he made his name in local football, before Football League referee Tony Glasson recommended him to Lawrie McMenemy, manager of Southampton.[2] He joined Southampton as a trainee in 1980, signing as a professional in August of that year.[2] He spent the summer of 1982 playing in Sweden on loan with Munkfors from May to October, which helped his development and shortly after his return to Southampton he made his first-team debut for the club on 15 January 1983 in a 1–1 draw at home to Coventry City.[2]

On 25 October 1983, he came on as a second-half substitute for Ian Baird in a League Cup match at home to Carlisle United.[3] His 86th minute goal brought the tie level on aggregate and was followed by the winner in extra-time.[3] In the next round, Foyle came on as a sixth minute substitute for Mark Wright, who had broken his nose in a collision with his own goalkeeper, Alastair Sperring, but was unable to prevent Southampton going out 2–1 to Rotherham United.[3]

He spent a few weeks on loan with Blackburn Rovers in March 1984, without making any first-team appearances, before joining Aldershot in August 1984 for a small fee.[2]


He made 98 appearances and scored 35 goals in the league for Aldershot before joining Oxford United in March 1987 for a fee of £140,000, of which Southampton received £40,000.[1][2]

Oxford United

He featured for Oxford in the First Division during two seasons and scored 44 goals in 151 appearances for Oxford.[4]

Port Vale

He signed for Port Vale in June 1991 for a club record fee of £375,000.[1][5] His first game was against former club Oxford, and he scored both goals in a 2–1 win. Although he finished as leading scorer in the 1991–92 campaign with 16 goals, the club finished bottom of the Second Division that season and were relegated.

During the following season Foyle was part of the team which won the Football League Trophy and narrowly missed out on automatic promotion before losing the play-off final against West Bromwich Albion. The 1993–94 season, with 18 goals, Foyle was again the club's leading scorer as the club finally achieved promotion in 1994. One of his 20 goals in the 1994–95 season was the winner in Vale's 1-0 victory in the Potteries derby at the Victoria Ground in 1995, and later he was voted as the club's player of the year for 1995.[6] In 1998–99 the ageing striker became the club's top scorer for a fourth time, with nine goals.

During his time at Port Vale, Foyle scored 107 goals, making him the club's record post-war goalscorer.[7] Some of his important goals include a late equaliser in a league cup tie at Liverpool in 1991, two at Brighton which sealed promotion in 1994, and one in a game at Huddersfield Town in 1998 which saved the club from relegation.

Management career

Port Vale

Persistent injuries forced him to retire from professional football in 2000,[citation needed] but he stayed at the club as manager of the youth team.[8] Foyle took over first team responsibilities at the club on 13 February 2004 after Brian Horton left by mutual consent,[9] and the team narrowly missed out on a play-off place on goal difference at the end of the 2003–04 season.[10] Following the end of the season, Foyle aimed to keep players at the club,[11] but eventually lost top scorer Stephen McPhee and midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.[12] The club also had to make massive cut backs due to having just come out of administration and when Steve Brooker was sold to Bristol City any chance of a play-off push was unlikely. Vale eventually finished 17th in a frustrating season where many players suffered injuries leaving the squad threadbare on more than one occasion. The next two seasons saw an increase in the playing budget as Vale got their house in order after administration and Foyle steered the side to 13th and 12th place finishes in League One. Two cup runs to the 4th round of the FA Cup in 2005–06 and 4th round of the League Cup in 2006–07, coupled with the selling of players such as Chris Birchall and Billy Paynter saw the club make a profit on the financial front.

Despite the improvements, the standard of football on offer was becoming a concern to some, with losses to League Two Hereford United in the FA Cup and at eventually relegated Chesterfield singled out in particular for criticism. Foyle did enough to stave off the critics at the end of the 2006–07 season with a some improved performances which saw the side finish in the top half. With a positive pre-season, which included beating a young Manchester United team and some exciting prospects signing things appeared to be looking up, with chairman Bill Bratt claiming that the club's ambition would be challenging for play off places. However, the team had a poor start to the 2007–08 campaign claiming just five points from their first seven games and scoring just three goals and also losing in the League Cup to League Two Wrexham. Foyle's tenure as Port Vale manager came to an end on 26 September 2007, as he left the club by mutual consent.[13]


He revealed his interest in taking the vacant managerial position at Lincoln City in October,[14] but he eventually joined Wrexham in January 2008 as first team coach to manager Brian Little and signed a new two-year contract with the club in May.[15][16] He and Brian Carey took over as joint-caretaker managers on 27 September 2008 after Little left the club during their first season in the Conference National,[17] while Foyle was placed as the bookmaker's favourites to succeed Little.[18] They were in control for the 1–1 draw against Torquay United,[19] although Foyle left the club after Dean Saunders was appointed as manager on 2 October.[20]

York City

He was appointed as manager of Conference National side York City on 24 November 2008, following the club's sacking of Colin Walker.[21] Foyle's first game in charge finished in a 1–1 draw at his home town club, Salisbury City,[22] who were managed by his former Southampton teammate Nick Holmes.[23] He said he was pleased with how the players reacted to his ideas following the match,[24] although he branded some of the team as being "weak-hearted" following a 2–1 defeat to Altrincham.[25] He managed York to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium on 9 May 2009, which was lost 2–0 to Stevenage Borough.[26] He won the Conference manager of the month award for November after York won four league games and progressed to the FA Cup third round.[27]

Personal life

He was married in his hometown Salisbury in June 1985.[28]

Managerial statistics

As of 16 March 2010.[19][21][29]
Team Nation From To Matches Won Drawn Lost Win %
Port Vale  England 13 February 2004 26 September 2007 184 68 34 82 37.0
Wrexham (caretaker)  Wales 27 September 2008 2 October 2008 1 0 1 0 0.0
York City  England 24 November 2008 Present 80 34 24 22 42.5


As a player

Port Vale

As a manager

York City


  1. ^ a b c d Barry J. Hugman (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946-2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 219. ISBN 1852916656. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology. p. 513. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Holley & Chalk. In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. p. 289. 
  4. ^ Dave Flett (16 December 2008). "York City boss Martin Foyle could return to former club Oxford in crucial cup clash". The Press. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Greg Struthers (21 September 2008). "Caught in Time: Vale drunk on success". The Times. Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 106. ISBN 0952915200. 
  7. ^ Leon Wobschall (25 November 2008). "York City: New boss will feel right at home". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Dave Flett (24 November 2008). "Martin Foyle lands York City manager’s job". The Press. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "Port Vale appoint Foyle". BBC Sport. 13 Fedbruary 2004-. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 
  10. ^ "Final 2003/2004 Football League One Table". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Foyle plans player talks". BBC Sport. 9 May 2004. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  12. ^ "COCA-COLALEAGUEONE". The Telegraph. 4 August 2004. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Foyle and Port Vale part company". BBC Sport. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 
  14. ^ "Ex-Vale manager wants Lincoln job". BBC Sport. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  15. ^ "Foyle joins Wrexham's management". BBC Sport. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 
  16. ^ "Foyle signs new Wrexham deal". Wrexham Evening Leader (North Wales Newspapers Ltd). 19 May 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2008. 
  17. ^ "Little parts company with Wrexham". BBC Sport. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  18. ^ "Bookies' odds for the next Wrexham FC manager". Wrexham Evening Leader. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  19. ^ a b "Wrexham 1-1 Torquay". BBC Sport. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  20. ^ "Saunders concedes Wrexham gamble". BBC Sport. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  21. ^ a b "Foyle confirmed as new York boss". BBC Sport. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  22. ^ "Salisbury 1-1 York". BBC Sport. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  23. ^ Dave Flett (28 November 2008). "York City boss Martin Foyle starts reign against familiar foe". The Press. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  24. ^ "Early signs please new boss Foyle". BBC Sport. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  25. ^ "'Weak-hearted' York anger Foyle". BBC Sport. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  26. ^ "Stevenage 2-0 York". BBC Sport. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009. 
  27. ^ "York's Foyle wins November award". BBC Sport. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  28. ^ "Search 1984 to 2006 – Birth, Marriage and Death indexes". Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  29. ^ "Martin Foyle's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 

External links


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