NIGEL MARTYN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » nigel martyn


Anthony Nigel Martyn (born August 11, 1966 in St. Austell, Cornwall) is a former English football goalkeeper who has played more than 500 competitive matches in English football. He most prominently played seven seasons each for Crystal Palace and Leeds United. An injury forced him to retire in 2006, following three seasons for Everton.


Martyn made his debut for the England national side in Moscow in 1992, becoming one of the few Cornishmen to play for England. Since then, he earned only 23 caps for his national side, spending the peak of his career as second-choice goalkeeper behind David Seaman.


Although best-known as a goalkeeper, Martyn typically played as a midfielder until invited to play in goal for his brother’s works team when he was sixteen. He began his professional career with Bristol Rovers in 1987, and transferred to Crystal Palace for a fee of £1 million in 1989, becoming the first goalkeeper to attract a million-pound transfer fee in English football. It was at Crystal Palace that Nigel first gained international recognition with a call up to the full England side. He remained at Palace for seven seasons, appearing 349 times for his club, including the 1990 FA Cup final (where Palace were beaten by Manchester United on a replay, and the 1991 Zenith Data Systems Cup final (where Palace beat Martyn’s future team Everton). In 1996, he signed with Leeds United, setting another record fee for a goalkeeper of £2.25m.


Martyn played as Leeds’ first-choice goalkeeper for six seasons and his consistency was a large factor in their strong run in the Champions League. It was a disagreement with new Leeds manager Terry Venables, combined with the increasingly good form of youngster Paul Robinson, that kept him from playing any games in Leeds’ 2002-03 season.


In the Summer of 2003, Leeds were approached by Chelsea and Everton with offers to sign Martyn. Both clubs were offering the out-of-favour goalkeeper a backup post: at Chelsea, he would understudy Carlo Cudicini; at Everton, the first-choice was Richard Wright. Martyn chose to move to Everton, and six games into the season, an injury to Wright gave him his Everton debut. His performances for the first team during Wright’s recovery were such that Martyn remained Everton’s first-choice goalkeeper even after Wright returned from injury.


Martyn was one of Everton’s best performers in the 2004-05 season when they achieved their best ever finish in the Premier League of 4th. He remains a favourite, affectionately known as “Big Nige” (High praise indeed as it recalls the nickname the Everton fans gave to Neville “Big Nev” Southall arguably the finest keeper of his generation), and joins a long list of Goodison legends.


In 2005, Nigel was voted in Palace’s Centenary XI.


On 8 June 2006, Martyn announced his retirement from football due to an ankle injury. David Moyes said that he would miss Martyn as he was his “greatest ever signing".