AFC Fylde is delighted to announce that Theo Richardson has joined the Club on a permanent transfer from National League North side Buxton FC.
Arriving at Mill Farm for an undisclosed fee, Theo becomes the latest signing ahead of the 2023/24 National League campaign and signs a two-year contract, with the Club holding the option of a further year in its favour.
Theo is a former Manchester United youth product who was signed by Jose Mourinho after impressing whilst on trial with the Red Devils in 2017.
After working his way through the 18s to the U23s, Theo joined Grantham Town before brief spells at Cleethorpes and King’s Lynn Town.
From King’s Lynn, the shot-stopper signed for Buxton FC in 2021 – a place he produced some top-drawer performances between the sticks.
The 24-year-old now arrives at Mil Farm off the back of a top season with the Bucks, where he made 46 appearances and collected 14 clean sheets.
With the deal signed and sealed, Theo spoke of his joy and said: “I’m buzzing to be here finally and get it all sorted, and I can’t wait for the new season to start.
“It’s a Club that I know wants to go places. Their ambition matches my ambition, and it’s somewhere I’ve got family close to as well, so it was a no-brainer.”
Following Theo’s addition, Director of Football Chris Beech said: “The acquisition of Theo is another superb bit of business for the club despite it taking a little more time than we’d have liked, mainly due to an undisclosed fee being agreed, and then personal terms.
“I would personally like to thank our chairman for supporting the transaction and having the foresight for sharing our vision and looking to implement that by way of supporting the deal.
“On meeting Theo, it was clear to see he is full of ambition and courage – I believe he will be a real fire starter to setting the energy and pace of the team, building attacks and creating goalscoring opportunities that you now often see in the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, as well as keeping the ball out of the net.
“From a personal perspective, he reminds me so much of Chris Maxwell, who, if I’m being honest, I tried to recruit at a similar stage of his career when he was leaving Fleetwood before eventually joining Preston.
“Chris, for several years, has been outstanding, mainly at Championship level and has ironically played for all three professional clubs that geographically we sit right in the middle of – Preston, Blackpool and Fleetwood.
“I believe if Theo, at 24 years of age, gets this next stage of his career right on the pitch, he too may have the opportunity to emulate that success.
“He joins Chris Neal, who, after winning the league and keeping 19 clean sheets last season, will build healthy competition and supportive spirit to gain a starting position in our matchday squad.
“With the right culture and respect within our framework, I’m sure both players will make the other better for it.
“I understand in negotiations that both clubs represent within the transaction different priorities.
“By way of going through the process with Dave Hopkins at Buxton and understanding his stance to support his manager Craig Elliot – who performed admirably in the second half of last season – the compromised position we came to is the right result for all parties and more importantly, represents Theo’s ambitions.
“I wish them well in replacing Theo and the club overall when attacking the National League North next season, but from a selfish perspective, I look forward to seeing Theo play and develop our style here at AFC Fylde and attacking the challenges the National League represents.”
Welcome to AFC Fylde, Theo!