Former Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has added his tribute to Russell Martin, whose time with the Canaries was brought to an end by mutual consent on Friday.
Lambert came into a Club on its knees in League One in 2009 and embarked on an epic three-year journey which saw City gain mid-table security in the Premier League after sensational back-to-back promotions.
His first outfield signing as Norwich manager was Martin, who he brought in on loan from Peterborough United on November 25, 2009.
After a successful loan spell, the then right-back signed permanently for an undisclosed nominal fee in January 2010 – and went on to become a mainstay in the team as Lambert’s men surged through League One and the Championship and into the top flight.
Speaking exclusively to canaries.co.uk, Lambert said he knew what kind of player he was getting in Martin having worked with him previously when he was manager at Wycombe Wanderers.
“Total honesty and commitment – that’s what you always get with Russell above everything else,” he commented.
“He used to travel all the way from Brighton to Wycombe to train, that’s the kind of guy he was and has always been since. He played at right-back for me and at centre-back and the best thing I can say about him is that he was a guy I knew I could always trust to put everything into it every time he played.
“When I brought him in with us again at Norwich I already knew that was what I was getting. He fit right in with the other lads who were at the Club then, people like Adam Drury, Grant Holt, Michael Nelson and all the rest who were with us back in League One and the others who came on board later. He was absolutely brilliant for me.”
Lambert left City to join Aston Villa at the end of the 2011-12 season, but said he will always have special memories of his time with the Club – and the players like Martin who played their full part.
“Those three years at Norwich City, we were like a juggernaut, we really were. We just got the momentum and we managed to keep it going and nobody could stand in our way is how it felt. It was incredible really.
“Russ was a major, major part of that. He was a model pro on and off the pitch, a real joy to manage and a really nice guy as well. That he went on to make the appearances for the Club that he did over such a long period of time says it all really. I’m still in touch with him and we speak regularly. I’m sure he’ll now go on to continue his career and do really well and I wish him all the best with that.”