Player of the Day: Neil Martin

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Scottish international in the spotlight.

Neil Martin made 99 appearances for Sunderland between 1965 and 1968 as the Black Cats went through a consolidation period following their promotion to the top-flight in 1964.

Born in East Lothian, Neil began his career with Alloa Athletic before moving to Queen of the South and then Hibernian.

The Scottish international moved to Wearside with a growing reputation and he cost Ian McColl’s side £45,000.

He scored on his debut in a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday before notching in his first game at Roker Park; a 3-0 victory over Northampton Town.

Martin’s debut campaign returned eight goals from his 25 appearances as Sunderland finished 16th in the First Division.

Neil’s goal-scoring record continued to blossom with 26 goals coming from his 48 appearances during the 1966-67 season.

He bagged his first hat-trick for the club in a 4-0 home win over Blackpool in September 1966 before his treble against Peterborough United in the FA Cup was the only time a Sunderland player had scored three goals in the competition until Kevin Phillips’ four against Rotherham United in early 1998.

A similar pattern followed prior to McColl’s departure as manager with 12 goals coming in Martin’s 26 games during the 1967-68 campaign.

The Scottish international scored in five consecutive league games between November and December but he fell out of favour under Alan Brown and he joined Coventry City for £90,000.

Spells followed with Nottingham Forest, Brighton and then Crystal Palace he went into coaching in Kuwait before taking the reins in a spell with Walsall.