Sam Foley wants to score at Wembley today and honour the memory of his late father, Robin.
Ex-Republic of Ireland U18 international Foley will play for Newport County in today’s FA Trophy final against York City.
The 25-year-old was rocked by the death of his dad on May 5, 2006, following a six-month battle with cancer.
Foley said: “My dad was a massive influence, not only as a dad but also as a mate.
“I’m pretty sure there were a lot of people who looked up to him. He loved his sport.
“I remember the day he passed away because it was the last game of the season when it happened.
“I wasn’t involved in our game and I had a call from my uncle saying, ‘You’d better come home.’
“I went home during the game and it has always stuck that the last game of the season is a special day for me.
“The season after that I scored on the last day of the season. Then the season after that I scored two. Two years on, we got promotion with Newport.
“The last day of the season is at Wembley this year. I’ll have a lot of family coming over from Ireland. I just hope I can score and win for him.”
Foley’s Dublin-born dad was schooled in the rugby-mad province of Munster and played for London Irish in the amateur days.
And Foley junior admits he grew up dreaming of scoring tries at Lansdowne Road rather than finding the back of the net at Wembley.
The St Albans-born midfielder added: “I have a lot of rugby ties and the sport is in my blood. I grew up at the local rugby club where my dad coached — Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire.
“I would have loved to have played rugby, in fact, I played at a higher standard until the age of 16 and got picked for the West Midlands squad.
“I was number ten on both fields, but in the end I opted for football. Playing at Wembley will be the biggest day of my life. To score the winner at Wembley would be Roy of the Rovers stuff. Hopefully we can enjoy the occasion, make the right decisions and come home with the cup.”
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