Achtung! Millwall 270: a tribute to Theo Foley 1937-2020

Theo Foley RIP - assistant manager to two promotion winning Millwall sides and a league champion with Arsenal, his career considered with Neil Andrews @goalkeepersdiff and yours truly ...



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THEO FOLEY 1937-2020 - ‘a life in football’

A proud Dubliner - true football man whose tributes have come from such diverse clubs as Exeter City - Northampton Town - Charlton Athletic - QPR - Arsenal and of course our own Millwall

Twice promoted as assistant manager with the Lions:

1975-76 as assistant to Gordon Jago - Millwall finishing 3rd in Division  Three after being mid table at Christmas

1984-85 as assistant to George Graham - Millwall finishing 2nd in Division Three

“When he told me he was going, I just laughed and told him not to – he didn’t know the ‘Millwall Way’ and they would eat me alive at The Den. Little did I know he was taking me with him!”

Two fantastic seasons that mean so much for those who followed Millwall at the time

AS A PLAYER - Irish Times obit - [after a play-off defeat v Spain] ‘And with that the 1966 World Cup passed Ireland by; symbolically, it seemed to sum up Foley’s playing career. So close, yet so far.

Northampton Town -At Northampton, where between 1961 and 1968 he had the most successful spell of his playing career winning two promotions as the club rose from the old Fourth Division to the First, he ran a chicken shop to supplement his income.

Capped 9 times for the Republic of Ireland - played against West Germany and Franz Beckenbauer 


Sacked by Charlton Foley had finished playing with Charlton but during his spell in the dug-out, they slipped from the second to the third division.

Patience was thin, even then.

Days after receiving a rose bowl from the supporters and a fortnight before they were awarded£4,000 for being one of the highest scoring clubs, he was sacked.

Brought in Mike Flanagan, Derek Hales and Colin Powell


  • QPR Thereafter, he flitted between coaching and broadcasting; at QPR, he teamed up with the irrepressible Terry Venables, then forging what would be a formidable career in management.

  • MILLWALL assisted Gordon Jago in the 75-76 season which for me remains a very special season indeed - the first successful season I saw as a Millwall fan
  • Gordon Jago’s blue & white army 


-MILLWALL joined with George Graham as assistant in December 1982.

  • saved MFC from relegation to the Fourth Division 1982-83
  • built the promotion squad of 1984-85

  • ARSENAL - brought through the classic Arsenal team that won the league at Anfield 1988-89 on last game / last kick of the season.

After that managed at Northampton and coached at Fulham, Southend and Spurs (back with George Graham)

‘Theo gives us a ball ‘ twitter account to promote his book gives a sense of the warmth and esteem in which he was held - across the board

From a professional perspective he found his niche as a successful assistant, the pinnacle being Arsenal 1989 - that comes out from the twitter account 

But from our Millwall viewpoint, he made two major contributions in our history - 1975-76 and 1984-85 - he also leaves many warm feelings at The Den...

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