This film is part of Free

Boy Footballer

Lionel Martin is just fifteen years old but with eight top football clubs wanting to sign him his future appears mapped out.

News 1962 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Like all school leavers Lionel Martin is thinking of his future. His dream of playing football for England is about to come a little closer with Aston Villa's Assistant Manager, Dick Taylor, taking time out to see the boy play. But what will the future hold? What if it doesn't work out? Will he have a trade to fall back on? Leslie Dunn takes the cameras down to his school at Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire to get a sense of what all the fuss is about.

Lionel Martin was signed by Aston Villa as an apprentice in July 1962. After playing for the reserves he saw first team action during the 1968/69 season. He didn't manage to achieve his dream of playing for England in a World Cup.