Wembley hero David Foley makes sensational return to South Shields

David Foley has returned to South Shields.
David Foley has returned to South Shields.

South Shields have completed the signing of former hero David Foley from Conference North side Spennymoor.

The 31-year-old left the club last year after scoring two goals in their FA Vase win over Cleethorpes Town at Wembley.

David Foley scored twice at Wembley for Shields.

David Foley scored twice at Wembley for Shields.

The forward joined Spennymoor, but has been persuaded to return to his hometown club after a long chase by the Mariners over the summer.

"I'm delighted to be back," said Foley. "It has been a long time coming and has taken a good couple of months to get to this point, but I'm absolutely over the moon that I'm here and now I'm so excited to get going.

"As soon as I walked back through the gates, the memories came flooding back. I really enjoyed my time here the first time and have lots of good memories, so hopefully we can kick on and make some new ones.

"The club is only going one way and there's no doubt about that. They have kept the momentum going from the last time I was here, so hopefully we can keep that going and go one step further again.

"When I left, the time was right to do that. Now it feels right to be back and to try to help the club continue the momentum."

Foley began his career as a 16-year-old at Hartlepool United, where he still holds the record as their youngest-ever player. He signed for Shields in 2015 and helped them to the Northern League Division Two title before scoring 35 goals the following season as the Mariners won the Vase, Northern League Division One title, the League Cup and the Durham Challenge Cup.

In total, he bagged 49 goals in 87 games, culminating in a brace at Wembley in his last game for the club.

Joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton had been keen to bring the player home, and have finally got their man, with Foley now looking forward to helping Shields work towards another promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier.

And he says the chance to link up with Fenton and Picton again was too good an opportunity to turn down.

"Shields was the first result I looked out for," he said. "I know all the players still, because the majority of them are still the same group. It has been the first result I've looked out for every Saturday. I'm over the moon that they've maintained the good results and hopefully we can keep that going.

"I've missed the detail that Lee and Graham go into. It's very much like a professional club and I've missed that.

"I've missed getting tested and stimulated before training, rather than just turning up and training and playing. I want a little bit more and that played a massive part in coming back.

"I've not played in this league before, but there can't be a great deal of difference with the level above.

"I think it's going to be a very exciting next couple of years and I don't think anything can stand in the club's way apart from ourselves.

"I'm really pleased to be back home and my family are over the moon that I've come back. They have still been coming to some games. I work in the town and I've got a lot of friends and family in the town, so it's really nice to come back home."

Joint manager Lee Picton said: "We're delighted to bring David back to South Shields FC.

"Having worked with him previously, we know that he has all the playing attributes and personal qualities that we look for when bringing new signings to the club.

"I'm sure this is a signing that will greatly excite the fans and we're looking forward to David's second spell here hopefully being even more productive than the first.

"We feel he could be a key acquisition in our pursuit of our goals this season."