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Romford record-holder Clayton pays tribute to former boss Martin

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 November 2019

Paul Martin, Paul Clayton and Colin Ewenson (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Paul Martin, Paul Clayton and Colin Ewenson (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Romford's record appearance holder Paul Clayton paid tribute to former manager Paul Martin, following his departure from the Isthmian League North club.

Romford manager Paul Martin celebrates with Paul Clayton after a win at Sudbury in 2010 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Romford manager Paul Martin celebrates with Paul Clayton after a win at Sudbury in 2010 (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Long-serving Martin left Boro after 599 matches in charge, following Glenn Tamplin's takeover at the club, in a move that some supporters found hard to accept.

And ex-captain Clayton, who played 396 times for Romford after making his debut in February 2006, said the club owe a lot to Martin, Colin Ewenson and Steve Gardner.

He said: "He has put so much time and effort into the club. Without him, Colin and Steve the club wouldn't have got the opportunity to progress.

"He always got the best out of me personally and created a togetherness in the changing room. Players couldn't wait for match day.

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"I'm sure he will back in the game very soon, it's in his blood, he's a proper football man."

Former player and reserve team boss Martin took over the managerial reins of the first tem from Mark Reed in January 2008 and led the club to the Essex Senior League title the following season.

And he proceeded to keep them up in the Isthmian League, against the odds, time and again, before earning a reprieve from relegation in 2018/19 when they could not escape the drop zone.

Clayton added: "Not many managers can say they have been at a club for 15/16 years. I think it tells you all you need to know about the man.

"I created some great football memories playing for him. He made me captain and when we got promoted and winning the league title are two I'll never forget.

"He leaves with his head held high and the tributes and messages I've read on social media have been nothing short of what he deserves.

"I hope the club can now progress to reward all his work over the years."

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