It was a day West Ham United fans and one player in particular will remember for years to come.

After eight games – and more than two months – without a win, West Ham finally got back on track with a 1-0 victory at fierce rivals Chelsea on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini finally saw fit to drop hapless goalkeeper Roberto and bring in David Martin.

And the son of Hammers legend Alvin did not let anyone down.

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Fairytales do exist

Martin showed the kind of calm and composure that is a trademark of West Ham’s sorely missed star player Lukasz Fabianski.

His performance saw confidence spread through a team that has been so bereft of it for so long.

There were emotional scenes after the game as Martin dropped to his knees in tears at his fairytale debut.

Dad Alvin – on co-commentary duty for talkSPORT at Stamford Bridge – played more than 600 games for West Ham and the pair enjoyed an embrace on the terraces afterwards.

Martin, who has been on the books  of Liverpool, Leicester and Leeds during his career, was the undoubted hero.

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Lineker reveals the most remarkable thing about Martin

And speaking on Match of the Day host Gary Lineker highlighted the remarkable thing about his story.


“I played with his dad Alvin a few times with England, lovely guy, great player, he’ll be absolutely chuffed,” Lineker said on MOTD.

“He (Pellegrini) brought in a goalkeeper (after Roberto’s struggles) and there’s not many English players make their Premier League debut at the age of 33! And what a happy ending.”

Phil Neville also paid homage to Martin, describing it as ‘the story of the day’.

“It’s a great story, probably the story of the day,” Neville said on MOTD.

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‘It was the story of the day’ – Neville

“What we saw today was a lad that was making his debut at 33. He showed good experience. He kept everything that came at him, he played with confidence, he gave the back four a lot of reassurance, even when he dropped it (from Mateo Kovacic’s effort) he recovered well and it’s just a great story.

“You can see how much it meant to him at the end. And you look at the reaction of his teammates and that shows how popular he is. But the best was when he went up to see his dad, you don’t normally see this, going up to the press box, a legend Alvin Martin, 600 games for West Ham.

“A nice moment and I hope he’s enjoying it with his dad tonight, having a beer.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves Gary and Phil.

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