WEST HAM’S third choice goalkeeper David Martin broke down in tears at the end of a fairytale debut for his boyhood club.
Martin kept a clean sheet as the Hammer won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge and the stopper ran straight to the press box after the game to have an emotional hug with West Ham legend dad Alvin.
At 33, Martin was called into Manuel Pellegrini’s first XI after an injury to Lukasz Fabianski and recent shocking form of number two Roberto.
And the red head – who would watch from the stands as dad Alvin made a staggering 598 appearances for the club and was adored by the West Ham fans – rose to the challenge with aplomb.
He was tested on a few occasions – by Mateo Kovacic in the first-half and by a barrage of Chelsea corners and free-kicks in the second – and each time he kept the Blues out his saves were met with deafening cheers from the raucous 3,000 away fans.
“Oh David Martin, you are the love of my life” was the cry from the East London faithful as the ex-Millwall keeper put in every bit the Premier League performance.
Aaron Cresswell’s stunning goal was enough to give West Ham the three points and it all proved too much for Martin when ref Jon Moss finally blew the full-time whistle.
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He first went up to the away fans to receive the admiration of the claret and blue army who made no mistake in letting their victorious charges know who their hero of the day was.
And as the Hammers finally made their way back down the tunnel, Martin carried on walking, leapt into the crowd and made the short journey up the steps to greet his dad.
The pair had a big hug and the proud look on his dad’s face will warm Hammers’ hearts at the end of a tough period for the club.