In Profile: David Foley
By Daniel Prince. Main picture courtesy of Frank Reid/Hartlepool Mail
Born: May 12, 1987, South Shields
Clubs played for: Hartlepool United (2003-10), Barrow (loan, 2009), Puerto Rico Islanders (2010-12), Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2013-14)
David Foley started his football journey on the books of Sunderland, who he was with for about five years from the age of seven.
However, after the Black Cats deemed the forward to be too small, Foley went on to be picked up by Hartlepool United, and he came through the ranks there, representing the club in Leagues One and Two.
The Newcastle United fan remains Pools’ youngest-ever player, having made his senior debut in a win over Port Vale in August 2003, aged 16 years and 105 days.
Despite his youth, the 5ft 4in Foley remained a key part of Hartlepool’s squad for many years to come, going on to make 115 appearances for the club.
He developed a reputation as being something of a cup specialist during his time at Victoria Park.
Foley scored in a League Cup giant-killing over then-Championship side West Bromwich Albion in August 2008, netting the vital goal to put Pools 2-1 up in extra-time. They went on to win 3-1.
Arguably his finest moment in a Hartlepool shirt came later that season when, in January 2009, he scored a superb long-range goal to seal a 2-0 FA Cup win over Premier League outfit Stoke City.
He found chances limited in the 2009-10 campaign, though, and Pools agreed to release him from the final three months of his contract in February 2010 so he could join Puerto Rico Islanders.
The Caribbean team played in the American leagues, and Foley was instantly in the thick of the action, winning the CFU Club Championship and USSF Division Two Professional League within months of joining.
Again, the forward showed his prowess particularly in the cup competitions, netting in a stunning 4-1 win over LA Galaxy in July 2010 in the CONCACAF Champions League, a competition Foley regards as the biggest he has played in during his career.
David Beckham did not line up against Foley in that game, but the American national team’s all-time leading goalscorer, Landon Donovan, did play.
In his second season with the Islanders, Foley won the CFU Club Championship again, and he stayed with the club until moving to Fort Lauderdale Strikers in January 2013. He is pictured playing for them below (article continues below image).
Since then, Foley has returned to England to work as a personal trainer, and after a year out of the game, now feels ready to return with his hometown club.
His move to South Shields marks a new chapter in his varied career, and he could make his debut on July 11 against familiar foes, Darlington, who are fierce rivals with Foley’s first club, Hartlepool.