Just when is Dean Martin coming back – the question that seemed to be on all our lips when the tenacious midfielder was still on the Boro’ books. He came in halfway through the 1999-00 season; Richard Hill snapping him up to correct a season that started very well for us – ’til it started to go wrong. With a goal from the subs’ bench on debut, you can see the impact he had from the off.
But we weren’t the only club with whom he had commitments. Martin also turned out for KA Akureyri in Iceland. Being a summer league, it meant we’d be without him ’til late September 2000. The manager who brought him in had long since gone too; Paul Fairclough now back in charge. But Cloughie also saw what he offered Boro’ in the middle of the park; Adrian Clarke describing him “as the Peter Pan of football” to the Stevenage FC History website.
Dean Martin: Before Boro’
Martin came with a fair amount of experience, which makes it easier to see why Hill made his move. Jetting back-and-forth from Iceland, his career started at Fisher Athletic – before moving to West Ham United. He didn’t get much game time with the Hammers though; out on loan to Colchester for a bit, then leaving in 1993 for Kettering on a permanent deal. His time with the Poppies lasted until 1995, at which point a love affair with Iceland started.
In-between the Icelandic summers, there were spells with Brentford (1995-6), Hong Kong Rangers (1996-7 and 1997-8) and in Ireland with Bohemians. Maybe they spelt the name of the country wrong on the ticket. He returned to English football in 1999, however, with a single appearance at Hereford United. The Bulls were evidently not keen on him, so in we came and that’s where we come up to date with the story.
Dean Martin: After Boro’
Of course, Iceland was where it was at for Deano. After us, he didn’t return to England – in the sense that he didn’t play for another club here. In fact, the rest of his career played out in Iceland. There was still some element of back-and-forth, but he kept it to two sides there – KA Akureyri and, er, however you say Íþróttabandalag Akraness. Just call ’em IA. He ended his playing days with Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja (IBV) in 2014.
By this point, Martin had already moved into management; starting as player-manager at KA. With IA and IBV, he combined playing duties with the role of assistant manager. Then, in 2014, took the reins at Breiðablik U19. In the years that followed, he’d also be involved with Iceland’s youth sides and the Chinese national women’s side. In 2018, however, he returned to Iceland as head coach of UMF Selfoss.