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Russ Martin on his final Carrow Road farewell

8 May 2019

Russ Martin said he was "humbled and grateful" for the support shown to his and Wes Hoolahan's celebration match on Monday.

The legendary City duo returned to Carrow Road with a host of former teammates to play out an entertaining friendly fixture in-front of almost 20,000 supporters.

Speaking to after the game, Martin said: "I'm extremely grateful and really appreciative at the turnout and how many people came, the people who came who weren't even involved and weren't playing as well.

"There were players who couldn't play because of their clubs and still came because they wanted to be involved. It's testament to them and the team spirit we had over the years.

"I'm just feeling very humbled by it all. It was all for brilliant causes so apart from the weather and the scoreline, it was a brilliant day.

"It felt like a final farewell and to have my family in the directors' box watching it was hugely special for me. 

"I spent the best ten years of my life at this place [Carrow Road] and to get the chance to say goodbye, I'm very grateful to Stuart [Webber], Delia [Smith] and Michael [Wynn Jones] and Ben Kensell for allowing that to happen.

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"There are so many people I would like to thank. So many people played a part in putting the event together and I'm really grateful.

Always a hardened competitor on the field, Martin reserved some disappointment at being beaten by Hoolahan's men by a 7-4 scoreline.

When asked about his tactical approach to the fixture in the second-half when it appeared his team had thrown an extra player on, Martin said: "I'm not sure we did. I think you miscounted!"

"The teams were so unfair, by the way! I had two people who pulled out the night before and then Jonny Howson is playing for Wes's team. 

"Their midfield was unbelievable and Zak [Whitbread] pulled his calf after three minutes. We were up against it and the tactical changes worked and we got back in it and made it a respectable scoreline in the end."

The game was part of a memorable day of club-wide celebrations in Norwich. It began in the morning with the title-winning class of 2018-19 parading the Sky Bet Championship trophy at City Hall and around the streets of the city.

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And Martin was delighted he and his former teammates could contribute to the celebrations.

"I was in the city in the morning and I've had the pleasure of experiencing occasions like that before," he continued.

"There's a real feel-good factor around the club and myself and Wes have been fortunate enough to experience it before.

"I hope those players understand how big it is and I'm sure they will. Things like this don't come around too often so when they do, you have to milk it!"

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