Martin Harry Image 4 Sunderland 1921

Martin Harry Image 4 Sunderland 1921


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Selston, Nottinghamshire born outside left Harry Martin played his youth football with Selston in 1909, and then Sutton Junction in 1909. He joined First Division Sunderland as a professional in January 1912 after impressing in an FA Cup tie against Swindown Town and made his Football League debut against Liverpool at Anfield on 5th April 1912 when he scored in a 2-1 defeat. The following day he was on the scoresheet again in a 4-0 victory over Everton, the other three goals being scored by George Holley.

He was ever present in 1912-13 helping Sunderland to win the 1913 League Championship. He contributed five League goals in the Championship winning season, including another against Liverpool in a 7-0 victory, in which Charlie Buchan scored five. Sunderland narrowly missed out on the Double, losing the FA Cup Final 1-0 to Aston Villa, who themselves were runners-up in the League, at The Crystal Palace.

The following year he made his debut for England against Ireland at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough on 14th February 1914, when he was joined by his Sunderland colleague Francis Cuggy, but England were defeated 3-0. This was the first time that England had been beaten by Ireland on home soil.

His football career was then interrupted by the First World War. During the War he served in the Armed Forces and guested for Nottingham Forest. Soon after the conflict’s conclusion he took part in two of the unofficial Victory internationals played to celebrate the end of the War, playing for England in a 2-2 draw against Scotland at Goodison Park at the end of April 1919 and in a 4-3 win in the return at Hampden Park a week later, but he was unable to break back into the full England side.

After the War he played for another three seasons for Sunderland, rarely missing a match before moving to his native county to join Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis in May 1922. In his Sunderland career he played a total of 232 first team matches, scoring 23 goals. He remained with Forest for three seasons (again rarely missing a match) as they struggled at the lower end of the First Division table, finally being relegated in 1925. After 13 goals in 113 appearances he dropped down to the Third Division (North) with Rochdale in June 1925 where he continued to play until March 1931, although by then his appearances were more infrequent already in his late 30’s, having scored 21 goals in exactly 100 appearances for ‘Dale.

In 1929 he had been appointed trainer with Rochdale where he remained until 1931 when he joined York City as trainer. In November 1933 he took the trainer’s job at Mansfield Town, he was then appointed manager at Mansfield in succession to Jack Hickling in February 1934. 1934-35 saw some improvement in the club’s League position when for the first time Town finished in the top half of the Football League Third Division (North) table, a creditable 8th place overall. He also guided them to the Third Round of the FA Cup, losing to First Division Burnley. However before the end of the season, his tenure as manager ended when he was surprisingly sacked and replaced by Charlie Bell in March 1935. He then joined Swindon Town as a trainer where he remained until his retirement in the 1950’s.



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