Eric joined the Nottinghamshire staff in 1947, making his Minor Counties debut in 1948 and his Championship first-class debut the following summer; he played for ten years but his contract was not renewed at the end of the 1959 season.
As a batsman he represented Notts in 125 first-class matches. He was capped in 1954 which was his best season, appearing in 24 first-class games and scoring 977 runs. In total he scored 4086 runs with a highest score of 133 not out, which he achieved against Leicestershire in 1959 during his last season with the Club. Notts were set 240 to win in 140 minutes. Martin, usually a middle order batsman, opened the innings only because Norman Hill was injured; he reached his 100 in 111 minutes, at that time the fastest first-class century of the year.
Eric Martin was born to a farming family in the village of Lambley on 17 August 1925, and he remained there all his life. He attended Henry Mellish Grammar School where he excelled at both cricket and football. His formative years were spent with Gedling Colliery cricket and football teams. He attracted the attention of Notts County Football Club and played one match for them when he was 17 years of age – against local rivals, Nottingham Forest on 24 April 1943, at Meadow Lane. Notts County won 2-1. Tommy Lawton, the England Centre Forward, who later was transferred to Notts County FC, also played in this game – his only match for Notts County during war-time. There was a further Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club connection at this match in that Len Beaumont, who subsequently became the scorer for the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, played on the left wing for Nottingham Forest.
Eric Martin also represented Gedling Colliery in the 1953/4 and 1955/6 seasons when the Club reached the 2nd round of the FA Amateur Cup, playing first the reigning champions Pegasus and two seasons later the famous north eastern amateurs Bishop Auckland.
After leaving the staff at Trent Bridge, Eric played for many years for Steetley Cricket Club, near Worksop, in the Bassetlaw League and in representative Bassetlaw League cricket. He eventually returned to his roots at Gedling Colliery Cricket Club. There is a story that when he reached 60 years of age, his wife suggested that he might consider retirement. Eric was not impressed and went out and bought some new cricket pads!
His nephew, Richard Martin, is a long standing official of the Bassetlaw League and was a well known cricketer for Edwinstowe. Richard was given an honorary life membership of Notts CCC at the 2018 AGM.
Eric Martin died, aged 90, on 1 October 2015 at a nursing home in Woodthorpe, Nottingham.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 384