Ex-Dons keeper makes long awaited return to the pitch with Southend

The former Dons stopper was in action in the National League last night.
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Former West Ham and MK Dons keeper David Martin returned to action last night, playing for Southend. Pic: Jane RussellFormer West Ham and MK Dons keeper David Martin returned to action last night, playing for Southend. Pic: Jane Russell
Former West Ham and MK Dons keeper David Martin returned to action last night, playing for Southend. Pic: Jane Russell

Former MK Dons goalkeeper David Martin returned to football on Tuesday night after signing, and then playing for Southend.

The 37-year-old ended his third spell at Stadium MK in the summer, having taken on the role of goalkeeper coach last season following Lewis Price’s cancer diagnosis.

Martin, who made just shy of 350 appearances for Dons across his previous two spells at the club, had been training with the struggling Shrimpers, who have been engulfed in off-the-field turmoil this season prior to Tuesday night.

Until recently, head coach Kevin Maher only had a handful of players on the books at Roots Hall before the announcement of Martin and Mauro Vilhete arrived in time to take on Maidenhead United last night.

Martin, who is signed on a non-contract basis, made his debut for the club and kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Roots Hall. It was the first time he had kept net in a competitive game since January 2020 when he replaced Lukasz Fabianski in goal for West Ham away at Sheffield United in the Premier League.

“Was amazing to play for Southend after such a long time not playing,” Martin wrote on social media. “It’s unbelievable how the management team, players, supporters and people behind the scenes excel with all that’s going on, superhuman effort.”

Martin was not the only former Dons keeper in action last night too. Franco Ravizzoli, who last week signed for Wycombe Wanderers, made his Chairboys debut in the EFL Trophy as they beat Crystal Palace U21s 1-0 at Adams Park.