Here’s the “Guaranteed to Put a Tear in Your Eye” story of the 2019-20 Premier League season…
Meet David Martin, a career-long journeyman goalkeeper who currently serves as the backup to starter Roberto at West Ham United. With Roberto failing to impress manager Manuel Pellegrini thus far, Martin made his West Ham on Saturday. It was also his PL debut. Martin is 33 years old. He has been on the books at 10 different clubs — whether permanently or on loan — during his career. In every way imaginable, it was a dream come, all the way down to beating Chelsea and making six saves to keep a clean sheet.
Oh, and his dad, Alvin, made over 450 appearances for West Ham during his 21-year career at the club. He was in attendance at Stamford Bridge and David was sure to find him for an unforgettable embrace in the stands.
After the game, David did his best to sum up the joy he felt when his moment finally came, as well as the relief he felt when it was over — quotes from the Guardian:
“It just doesn’t feel real. I’m 33 now, I’ve had a decent career, I’ve played quite a few games but it still doesn’t prepare you coming into this. I’ve been struggling to eat for the last two days. Cress [Aaron Cresswell] was laughing at me because my plate kept being taken away and I couldn’t finish my food.
“When I saw my dad we were both in tears, so we didn’t actually say a lot. But for my dad to see that here with the club he played for for 21 years, to make my debut, keep a clean sheet and get the win for the boys more importantly, it’s just a fantastic feeling.”