Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
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Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Martin: Cornelius Joseph (Con)

1946-1948 (Player Details)

Left Half/Centre Half

Born: Rush, Co.Dublin, Republic of Ireland: 20-03-1923

Debut: v Sheffield United (a): 04-01-1947

6'1Ē 13st 0lb (1948)

The 6' 2" Martin was a naturally gifted spoetsman and was equally adept at Gaelic football, soccer and basketball. While he won most honours at soccer, his own belief was that he was a better Gaelic football player. He had the physique, could kick with either foot, was good at catching the ball and was very fit. After initially playing Gaelic Football, in his teens, he was called into the Dublin senior panel aged just eighteen, helping the Dubs to the Leinster title in 1942. However, at the same time he was lining up for Dublin, he was in the Flying Corps and also playing soccer for Drumcondra. When this was discovered, Martin was expelled from the GAA and it wasn't until thirty years later that the Association eventually agreed to award him the Leinster medal he won. He converted to football and spent four years with Drumcondra, where he won an FAI Cup Winnersí medal in 1945-46, and represented the League of Ireland against the Irish League as a left-back. After that game , he was approached by Elisha Scott's Belfast Celtic, but Glentoran offered him much more money and he bought himself out of the Air Corps and became a full-time professional in the summer of 1946. Glentoran paid £500 for his services and he was soon selected for Ireland's tour of Iberia in 1947, where he won his first cap for the Republic of Ireland. He made his debut against Portugal, and when goalkeeper Ned Courtney was injured he was handed the goalkeeper's jersey. He kept a clean sheet and he was picked in that position in a 1-0 win over Spain in Madrid the following Sunday. His performance in that historic 1-0 win sufficiently impressed Manchester United that they offered him a contract. However, Leeds United offered him a contract as an outfield player at the same time and he opted for Elland Road. While Manchester United went on to become one of the strongest sides of the time, Leeds floundered. He had scored once in twenty-two games for Glentoran before he joined Leeds in December 1946 for £8,000 and quickly established himself at left half, but was equally adept in the centre-half role, the position he played for the Eire team. He soon attracted the attention of other clubs and the hard-up United were forced to sell him to Aston Villa for £10,000 in October 1948, the cash being used to rebuild the Leeds side. He enjoyed his best days at Villa staying until July 1956, scoring once, a Good Friday penalty at Charlton Athletic in a 4-1 win on 7th April 1950, in making one hundred and ninety four League appearances, and nineteen F.A. Cup games. He then joined Waterford as Player-Manager and remained there until taking over as Player-Manager of Dundalk for the 1959-60 season. After Managing Shelbourne for a short time in 1965 he had a spell as Assistant Manager of Cork Hibernian. He later worked as an Insurance Agent and established an Insurance Company with his son-in-law. He captained both Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and was in the Eire team which inflicted Englandís first home defeat by a non-UK team at Goodison Park by two goals to nil in 1949, with Martin scoring the first goal from the penalty spot. The versatility of the dual Irish International was legendary, for he played every position at senior level including goalkeeping appearances for the Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa. His ball handling skills learned in Gaelic football were put to good use in his goalkeeping art and not only was he initially sought by Manchester United in the goalkeeping role but he played one full season for Aston Villa as custodian. The season was 1951-52 and in his first match he started as left-back, with Joe Rutherford in goal, but after the keeper was injured he took over between the posts as his replacement in the game and then he kept goal in twenty-six League matches and in one FA Cup match, before the keeper returned and Martin reverted to the centre-half position. In many ways, Martin had the misfortune of playing in the same era as Johnny Carey. Carey was an excellent footballer, while Martin's strength and physical presence meant that while he was just as effective, he lacked the panache of the Manchester United man. Like Carey, Martin was incredibly versatile and he even made his second appearance for Ireland as a goalkeeper, though centre back was his favoured position. Martin finished with thirty Republic of Ireland caps and six Northern Ireland appearances. His total was passed by his son, Mick, who played in fifty-one Eire internationals and with Bohemians, Manchester United and Newcastle United. His grandson Alan was on Leeds Unitedís books as an associate schoolboy but did not make it past the junior level. Another grandson, Owen Garvan, has already been capped by the Republic of Ireland at Under-Twenty-one level and plays for Ipswich Town. He died in Dublin on 24th February 2013, aged eighty-nine.

AppearancesGoals
League 471
F.A. Cup 20