Alvin Martin has sent a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to West Ham fans for their support of his son, David, after his dream Premier League debut against Chelsea.

The veteran goalkeeper joined his boyhood club in the summer, following in the footsteps of his Hammers legend father, on a free transfer after he was released by Millwall.

It was a dream come true for the 33-year-old, who probably thought he’d barely get a look in at the London Stadium following a long and storied career playing for clubs in League Two and all the way up to the Championship.

David Martin made his first ever Premier League appearance at the age of 33

Getty Images – Getty

David Martin made his first ever Premier League appearance at the age of 33

However, after Hammers no.2 Roberto conceded nine goals in three games, Martin was given his chance against Chelsea on Saturday and he took it superbly to help West Ham to a shock 1-0 win.

It was the Hammers’ first victory at Stamford Bridge in 17 years and also ended a run of seven games without a win for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Martin’s emotions came out at the final whistle as the goalkeeper sank to his knees and, instead of walking down the tunnel, he instead walked up the stands to embrace his father, with both men in tears.

It was a moment of such emotion that even talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham choked up live on air, saying it was one of the most emotional scenes he had witnessed in his broadcasting career.

Alvin joined Durham back in the Drivetime studio on Monday to look back on the moment, and he said the support of his former club’s fans meant everything.

“It’s an incredible story,” said the former Hammers defender.

“The West Ham fans at Stamford Bridge were brilliant for my son on Saturday and it meant a lot to me.

“When you hear people signing your name in a loving way, it’s inspiring. You cannot imagine how great and confident it makes you feel.

“So to hear those chants before the game even started on Saturday was a wonderful thing and I do thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Alvin played the majority of his career at Upton Park, making 598 appearances in 21 years playing for West Ham, and being part of the team that won the FA Cup in 1980.

But he said nothing he achieved in his career compared to watching his son make his Premier League debut after such a long journey to the top.


‘I’m gone, Alvin has gone, it’s so emotional’ – Listen to the moment Durham chokes up on talkSPORT


“The thing that struck me going to the game was how much it meant to him,” he added.

“After David had been there for about six weeks, one of the press guys at West Ham met me at a game and said, ‘since I’ve been at the club I’ve never seen a player who has been so excited about being here’.

“And that’s the truth. I know what it meant to him, he knew what it meant to his family and he just didn’t want to let anyone down.

David Martin was in tears after finally making his Premier League debut and in the colours of the team he supported as a boy

Getty Images – Getty

David Martin was in tears after finally making his Premier League debut and in the colours of the team he supported as a boy

The 33-year-old goalkeeper was mobbed by team-mates after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge

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The 33-year-old goalkeeper was mobbed by team-mates after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge

“I worried that he’d built it up so high over a period of a couple of days that it was going to affect him, he just didn’t want to let anyone down, but I know he’s tough and he can handle things and it meant a lot.

“When he came up the stairs and he knew he’d done it, it was an incredible feeling as a parent.

“I’ve played at the highest level and the highs that you get are unbelievable, but they are way down the pecking order when something like that happens with your child. You’ve seen them progress, you’ve seen them go through ups and downs.

“I came to talkSPORT for an interview about a year ago after David made the biggest mistake of his career (his howler meant Millwall lost to Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals) and those days were some of the hardest I’ve ever had as a parent.

“So to go from that to the other side of the spectrum and enjoy something so wonderful, it was just incredible.”

Listen back to Alvin Martin on Drivetime IN FULL above

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