Alan Martin – professional footballer.

John Alan Martin (23 November 1923 – 2004) was an English footballer who played as a half-back and inside-forward. A pacey and intelligent player, he scored 94 goals in 292 league appearances in eleven years in the Football League.

He began his career at Port Vale, turning professional in December 1942. He was sold to Stoke City in exchange for Albert Mullard and £10,000 in September 1951, and played First Division football for the “Potters”. He spent 1955 to 1957 at Bangor City, before re-joining Port Vale in July 1957. He helped the “Valiants” to win the Fourth Division title in 1958–59, before moving on to Northwich Victoria.

Playing career

Martin joined Port Vale in February 1941 as an amateur, signing professional forms in December 1942.[1] He played 14 Third Division South games in 1946–47.[1] He scored his first senior goals at The Old Recreation Ground in a 4–1 win over Ipswich Town on 1 November 1947, and was an ever-present throughout the 1947–48 campaign, scoring eight goals.[1] He again played every minute of the 1948–49 season, and also bagged seven goals.[1] He scored eight goals in 28 games in 1949–50, and five goals in 46 games in 1950–51.[1] Manager Gordon Hodgson died in June 1951, and his replacement, Ivor Powell, sold Martin to Potteries derby rivals to Stoke City in exchange for Albert Mullard and £10,000 in September 1951.[1]

Martin scored twice in 34 First Division games in 1951–52, as the “Potters” narrowly avoided relegation under Bob McGrory. However relegation was not avoided in 1952–53 under new boss Frank Taylor, with Martin scoring four goals in 30 appearances. He made 38 Second Division appearances in 1953–54 but featured just six times in 1954–55, and left the Victoria Ground for Welsh club Bangor City.[2]

Martin returned to Burslem to re-sign for Port Vale on non-contract terms in July 1957; the club were now playing at Vale Park and managed by Norman Low, though were still in the Third Division South.[1] He featured just three times in 1957–58, but made 16 appearances in the Fourth Division title winning season of 1958–59.[1] He then left the club to become player-manager of Northwich Victoria, and also spent time coaching the Vale juniors.[1]

Style of play

Former teammate Roy Sproson said that: “Alan’s assets were his pace and good control. He was extremely good on the ball and a highly intelligent player too.”[3]


with Port Vale

  • Football League Fourth Division champion: 1958–59


[1] a b c d e f g h i j k l Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 185. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
[2] Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.
[3] Harper, Chris (10 February 1975). “Sproson’s Eleven”. The Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-06-23.

Taken from Wikipedia - 26th January 2013

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