The Monday Profile: Chris Martin
The Carling Cup of 2008-9 provided little respite for a Luton Town squad predestined Calvinist-style to relegation that season, shorn as they were of 30 points at the starting gate. It was a right Royal romp as the Bedfordshire club left Berkshire with a 5-1 battering, but my chief memory of the evening was a truly snarling performance from Luton’s centre forward – one Chris Martin. His namesake once sang of Trouble and this petulant, scowling individual peppered the evening with a series of contretemps with Stephen Hunt, himself far from accustomed to turning the other cheek.
A leafing through the scanty programme of that night revealed Martin to be on loan from Norwich City, themselves hardly setting League football alight at the time. No Future once wailed the Sex Pistols and I immediately consigned him to the section of my mental filing system under that heading. Though only 19 at the time, a temperament that would have made a Gila Monster blush seemed confirmed by the kid’s background: fallings out with former boss Glenn Roeder, a tendency to turn evenings down the pub into a bit of a rumpus and being branded “SuperChav” by now defunct website City ‘Til Die hardly promised a star in the creation.
This all shows how much I know. Luton did indeed slip out of the league but Martin did himself no harm with eleven goals and he netted a screamer as the Hatters defeated Scunthorpe to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley, a quiz question-inspiring match between teams who would start the subsequent campaign three divisions apart. Despite a goggle eyed celebration, the East Anglian born and bred used his rave reviews to return to Carrow Road in the Summer. Would he rise to the challenge?