Martin Foyle was appointed as York City manager in November 2008 in succession to Colin Walker.
Martin Foyle was appointed as York City manager in November 2008 in succession to Colin Walker. He previously had a spell in charge of Port Vale and also as caretaker manager at Wrexham.
As a player Foyle began his career as a trainee at Southampton, where he was to spend four years before joining Aldershot for a minimal fee in August 1984. He went on to score 35 league goals in 98 appearances for the Hampshire club, until signing for Oxford United for £140,000 in March 1987. Once again he became a regular scorer with 44 goals in 151 games at the Manor Ground.
That kind of form in turn brought him a £375,000 switch to Port Vale for a club record fee in June 1991. Foyle immediately scored twice on his debut against former club Oxford. However, despite him ending the campaign as leading scorer with 16 goals, the club were relegated after finishing bottom of Division Two. The next season he helped them to the Football League Trophy and also into the play-offs, where they lost in the final to West Bromwich Albion. But Vale enjoyed better fortune the following year, and with Foyle once again topping the goal charts on 18 they won promotion. He went even better the season after with 20 goals and was voted as the club’s player of the year. In 1998-99 he ended as leading goalscorer again, but this time with only a modest nine to his credit, before he was forced to retire through persistent injury after netting 107 goals in total at Vale Park – which was a post-war record.
After finishing as a player Foyle remained at Port Vale as manager of their youth team. In February 2004 he took over first-team responsibilities upon the departure of Brian Horton. His side only narrowly missed a play-off place on goal-difference at the end of the 2003-04 season. But the loss that summer of top scorer Stephen McPhee and midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, in addition to financial cutbacks being made due to recent administration, then saw them struggle into a seventeenth-place finish. As the club steadied itself financially over the next couple of years, Foyle achieved mid-table places before leading his side back into the top half in 2006-07. But a poor start the following season saw him leaving the club by mutual consent in September 2007.
The following January he joined Wrexham as first-team coach under then manager Brian Little, whose subsequent departure in September 2008 had Foyle installed as caretaker boss alongside Brian Carey. But the appointment of Dean Saunders at the Racecourse Ground saw Foyle leaving the club the following month.
Foyle wasn’t to be without work for long though, joining York in November 2008. Inheriting a very poor squad at Bootham Crescent, he managed to lead them away from relegation at the end of his first season in charge and to a Wembley final against Stevenage Borough in the FA Trophy. The following season he guided them to an FA Cup third round tie at Premiership Stoke City, and ultimately into the play-offs, where they only lost out to his former club Oxford in a second Wembley final appearance in twelve months.
However, and in something of a chilling reminder of his time at Port Vale, the loss of his top scorer Richard Brodie and rumours of financial problems at the club then brought about an indifferent start to the following season, and Foyle resigned his post in the wake of a 5-0 hammering at Mansfield Town in September 2010.