Arsenal saddened by Theo Foley death

Arsenal celebrate winning the 1987 Littlewoods Cup after their 2-1 victory over Liverpool, back row,

Arsenal celebrate winning the 1987 Littlewoods Cup after their 2-1 victory over Liverpool, back row, from left, assistant manager Theo Foley, Viv Anderson, John Lukic, David O'Leary, Michael Thomas, David Rocastle, Martin Hayes, Tony Adams, Steve Williams, physio Gary Lewin; (front row, l-r) Charlie Nicholas, Paul Davis, Perry Groves, Kenny Sansom, Niall Quinn - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal Football Club has expressed its sadness at the death of former assistant manager Theo Foley at the age of 83.

Foley played and captained Northampton Town as they climbed to Division One in 1965, the only season the Cobblers appeared in the top flight.

And the former Republic of Ireland international went on to become a highly respected coach, serving as George Graham’s number two at Highbury between 1986-90.

The Gunners won the Littlewoods Cup in 1987 and Division One title two years later, on the final day of the season in unforgettable fashion at Anfield, during that spell and a club statement said: “A hugely popular member of the dressing room, he will always be remembered as one of the heroes from our title-winning season in 1989.

“Theo made many great friends among players and staff during his time at Arsenal and his death will be felt by all those in the game who knew him.

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“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Theo.”

Former players added their own tributes on Twitter, with Alan Smith posting: “Devastated to hear about the passing of Theo Foley. He was a king, generous and very funny man respected and loved by everyone @Arsenal. Thinking of Sheila and family at this tragic time.”

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Lee Dixon tweeted: “So sad to hear about the passing of one of footballs good guys Theo Foley. RIP Theo. We all owe you for making us smile and laugh and lighting up every day we worked together @Arsenal.”

And Michael Thomas, the last-gasp goalscoring hero at Anfield, who went onto play for Liverpool later in the career, posted: “I’ve gone from euphoria to devastation all over 24 hours! A great man & father figure to us all at Arsenal has sadly passed away he will be sadly missed RIP Theo.”

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