Obituary - Tom Foy

Mark Davis [Crystal Palace Bowmen].

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of Tom Foy who passed away on Monday, 09 December 2013.

Tom went to the Beckenham and Penge County Grammar School for boys before going to work at W.H. Smiths in Bromley where he happened on a magazine called The British Archer….!

Tom bought his first bow back in 1951 (apparently with the wages he earned in his first week of work) and went on, gradually at first, through the stages and became Master Bowmen in 1960 through to 1965. He shot at the International trials seven times, winning in 1960 (the Nottingham event) and became London champion in 1963. He also won his FITA star in 1965. Apart from target archery Tom was a lover of field archery as well shooting with the Company of Sixty.

In 1966 he worked with Rediffusion to produce what may well have been the first programme on archery to be broadcast.

He managed the archery shop in Wastdale Road (Forest Hill, London SE23) before setting up his own business in Battersea in 1975, moving quickly to Croydon in 1976 and then to Hawkhurst in 1982.

Tom was a County Coach and helped found the Crystal Palace Bowmen in 1960, a club that still shoots to this day, originally at Crystal Palace itself and then at Virgo Fidelis Convent and now at Park Langley. The full story of his work in setting up the club is available on the Crystal Place Bowmen web site.

He was the author of two major archery books 'Know the Game… Archery' and 'A Guide to Archery'.

While a lot of stories about Tom may well be apocryphal (and some certainly cannot be told in public), he was approached by the custodian of Bodiam Castle during its 600th anniversary and, as a result of this, the first Bodiam shoot was held one evening in the grounds of the castle. The event grew rapidly and with the help of colleagues it became an annual event, only ceasing a number of years later. It was attended by some of the cast of the 'Robin Hood' series on television and became a must attend event for many longbow archers before that bow became as popular as it is now.

Our thoughts are with Rose, his wife, and the rest of Tom's family.