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Former soccer international footballer Con Martin passed away today, aged 89

Updated: Sunday, 24 Feb 2013 19:14 | Comments

Con Martin passed away today.
Con Martin passed away today.

Former international footballer Con Martin passed away today,  aged 89.

Martin, born in Rush, Co Dublin, on 20 March, 1923, was one of the great Irish players of the last century and was best known for scoring a penalty against England at Goodison Park in September 1949 - England's first home defeat to a non-UK side.

The Dubliner played for Drumcondra, Glentoran, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Waterford. He also played for both the Ireland teams under the FAI and IFA administration. He won 30 caps for the Republic of Ireland and six for Northern Ireland.

Martin played gaelic football with St Maur's in Rush and St Mary's Saggart before going on to represent Dublin and featuring in their Leinster Championship win in 1941.

Although best known as a centre-half, he made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland as a goalkeeper and played close to a complete season in goal for Aston Villa.

He helped Drumcondra to FAI Cup success in 1946, then signed by Glentoran later that year signed for Leeds United in December 1946. He joined Aston Villa two years later before signing for Waterford United in 1956. He later had a spell as player-manager of Dundalk FC.

Martin's son Mick Martin went on to become a senior international footballer and grandson Owen Garvan has been capped at Under-21 international level for Ireland.

He is survived by wife Vera, sons Mick, Con Junior, Edward and Phillip and daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Susan and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

FAI President Paddy McCaul paid tribute to Martin's legacy in Irish football.

"Con Martin will go down in history as one of Irish football's great players and his family continued that tradition with his sons playing the game to a very high level," said McCaul.

"He will be sadly missed and will always be remembered for his contribution to the famous victory over England in 1949."

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney added: "We were very proud to open our Hall of Fame alcove in tribute to Con at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown in 2009.

"I pass on my sympathies to his family. He was a great man who had a fantastic career in the game. He was a real gentleman and I was aware when growing up that he had played for Waterford after returning home from Aston Villa."

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