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On this day in 1989: Nigel Martyn makes record Crystal Palace move

15 November 2020
Nigel Martyn became the first GBP 1million goalkeeper in English football on this day in 1989 when he moved to Crystal Palace from Bristol Rovers. The St Austell-born keeper had impressed in the Third Division and quickly adapted to life in the top flight. Martyn helped Palace reach the FA Cup final in 1990 and a year later was a key part of the side to win the Full Members' Cup. He would earn international recognition in 1992 and in the process became one of a selected number of Cornishmen to play for England. Arsenal's David Seaman was first-choice for his country, however, and Martyn would leave London to sign for Leeds in 1996 after 349 appearances for the Eagles. The Yorkshire club spent GBP 2.25million on the stopper – another record-fee for a goalkeeper in Britain – and he was a key member of the squad which took Europe by storm. A string of excellent performances from Martyn helped Leeds reach the UEFA Cup semi-finals at the start of the century before a year later they embarked on a stunning run to the last four of the Champions League. Two seasons later and the goalkeeper was on the move again, this time to Everton, and after two fine campaigns under David Moyes, an ankle injury forced his retirement in 2006 following nearly 900 appearances in addition to 23 England caps.
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