King's Lynn Irons welcome West Ham legend whose son David Martin played key role in Chelsea win
A West Ham United icon was the special guest at a Lynn supporter's group Christmas meal before his son proceeded to play a starring role in a Premier League win over Chelsea the following day.
Alvin Martin, who played nearly 600 times for the Hammers in a successful 19-year professional career at Upton Park, attended the King's Lynn Irons Club's annual event at Titchwell Manor on Friday evening.
Having also represented England 17 times, Mr Martin proved to be a popular hit with members of the group who posed for pictures with him as well as hearing his stories from his time at West Ham from 1974 to 1996.
The 61-year-old also shared his tale of achieving the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick against three different Newcastle United goalkeepers — Martin Thomas, who was then injured, and outfield players Chris Hedworth and Peter Beardsley — during a First Division match in April 1986 which the Hammers won 8–1.
Mark Steele, the club's secretary, said: “Having Alvin as our VIP guest was another very special occasion in the history of the King’s Lynn Irons Club. I had the privilege of sitting with Alvin and it was brilliant to hear the stories of his life with West Ham as well as his thoughts on the current West Ham side.
“What I liked most about Alvin’s visit was that he made sure he met all of our members, answering their questions, and he also very kindly donated two very special, money-can't-buy prizes for our raffle, which proved very popular with our members.
"Alvin was also refreshingly honest during our Q&A session and we all really liked everything about him. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alvin for making so many KLIC members happy and for giving up his time to travel up from his home in Essex to be our guest.”
It proved to be an especially good weekend for West Ham fans-and particularly the Martin family-as Alvin's son David Martin played a starring role in West Ham's 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
It was David's Premier League debut at the age of 33 as the goalkeeper came in for Roberto for the fixture in South West London.
His successful debut came 41 years after Alvin made his first team debut for West Ham on March 18 1978 as a substitute against Aston Villa. His final appearance was as an 88th-minute substitute in May 1996 against Sheffield Wednesday.
The attendance of Alvin at the King's Lynn Irons Club followed guest appearances by fellow West Ham legends Tony Cottee, Brian Dear, Alan Taylor and Ronnie Boyce in recent years.
The King's Lynn Irons Club, one of the largest West Ham United supporters' clubs, aims to give fans in the King's Lynn and surrounding area the opportunity to get tickets to watch West Ham United at home and away. For more information about the club visit www.kingslynnirons.com.
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