The Big Interview: Former Boro striker Foreman refuses to look back in anger

Darren Foreman
Darren Foreman

Some people say ‘you should never look back in anger’, and never was there a better case of that saying than with former Scarborough striker Darren Foreman.

The Southampton-born front man moved to Boro in 1991 after spells at Barnsley and Crewe Alexandra, and everything seemed to click for him.

But towards the back end of a superb period of 35 goals in 91 appearances at the Athletic Ground, Foreman broke his leg in the last game of a season at home to Carlisle.

Things were never the same for Foreman afterwards and some people say he would have gone on to play at a much higher level had he not suffered the setback.

But the current captain of South Cliff Golf Club, now aged 44, tries not to look back and prefers to remember the good times at Boro.

Foreman said: “The chairman Geoffrey Richmond had let everyone in for free with it being the last game of the season, and there was about 3,000 people in the ground.

“It was in the last 20 minutes and I got half turned and a lad came sliding through on me.

“It was one of those tackles that you see these days as a red card with the studs up and showing.

“Back in those days you saw a lot of tackles like that.

“I didn’t see the challenge coming and didn’t have the chance to avoid it or ride it.

“I was out for about a year, I think I played about three or four games at the end of the next season.

“People were saying that I’d have got a move that season or the year after if I hadn’t have been injured, but there were no guarantees of that.

“Ray McHale told me Wolves were interested, how interested they were, I’m not sure. I suppose you could look back and say if only.

“It’s not something I could control. You never know. You could regret it but there’s not much point in doing that.”

Foreman was out of the game for almost a year, much to his frustration. He added: “I was out for a full 11 months, but I was lucky that we had a chap called Keith Warner, who worked at Lilleshall and came to us twice a week.

“He’d give me a set programme that I would do. Keith was organised and qualified and that helped a lot.”

A lot is often made of a player’s mindset when returning after a long lay-off, but Foreman insists others were more worried about his return than he was.

He added: “In some respects other people worried about it more than I did.

“Steve Wicks had become manager and he was more worried than I was.

“Tackling wasn’t a big part of my game anyway. I didn’t feel freightened.

“The problem I did find was when Scarborough released me people thought I must have still had a problem, when I didn’t.

“But it’s other people’s perceptions of the injury.

“Look at the injuries suffered by Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey, they were much worse than mine.

“Their breaks were career threatening, mine wasn’t, but it was other people’s perceptions of my injury, not mine.”

Before his unfortunate injury, playing up-front alongside Tommy Mooney, who would later move on to bigger and better things, would be one of the catalysts of a superb spell of finding the net for Foreman, who attributes a lot of the praise to the style of Boro’s play.

Foreman said: “The best thing about my time at Boro was the style of football we played.

“Obviously there were the personal achievements like scoring the goals and the hat-trick against York City.

“But if we won games it was 3-2 or 4-3, and if we lost it was by a similar scoreline.

“We never lost 1-0. The brand of football we played was great and we were good to watch. We didn’t get the best of crowds but we were entertaining and that’s what we were there to do.

“We weren’t great defensively, we couldn’t defend for toffee.

“But we knew when we went forward we had a chance of scoring goals.

“We created a lot of chances and as a forward, when the team are creating chances, you’ll think to yourself that you’re going to get chances.

“We’d never spend time working on defence in training, we’d spend half our time on the beach playing five-a-side, and that is how we’d play.

“Ray (McHale) would just say ‘go and play’, and that was great.

“Ultimately it was never going to get us promotion, but we were a little fish in a big pond.

“No disrespect, but Scarborough isn’t the biggest of towns to be supporting a football league club.

“To support a league club was difficult. But we took pride in being the first club to be promoted to the football league.”

Foreman, in particular, looks back on his partnership with Mooney with fondness.

“I always thought Tommy was a better player than me, but he wasn’t as good a finisher as I was.

“He was a better all-round player. He had the pace, the strength and all the attributes needed to be a top player.

“I always thought Tommy would go on to bigger and better things.

“He proved over time that he was a good goalscorer too.

“We had a good partnership up front and we worked well together though.”

After a proposed move to Plymouth fell through after the managers of both clubs were sacked, Foreman moved on to play abroad, first in Hong Kong and then in Sweden, where he netted 12 goals in a productive spell playing for IK Sirius in Uppsala, a time that Foreman looks back upon with great fondness.

“ The facilities were fantastic there. They were years ahead in terms of match preparation. They were a part-time side but we were so well prepared before and after games.

“I offered something different to what they already had and did well there. I’d have gone back in different circumstances.”

Foreman later returned for another spell at Boro as their physio, and was almost forced back into action as the club suffered terrible financial difficulties that resulted in the club going into liquidation.

Scarborough Borough Council, Foreman believes, were to blame for the club being wound-up and the resulting decay and subsequent demolishing of the Athletic Ground.

Foreman remembers: “I went to a meeting on the Friday and as far as we were concerned there was still going to be a club and we were going to move the ground from Seamer Road to Eastfield. But by Monday something had changed.

“I don’t know what it was but basically the council had decided to cut the club dry.

“They let them float down the river in some respects.

“It’s such a shame seeing the ground now.”