Martin Garratt: 1980 - 2014

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of former City player Martin Garratt who sadly passed away recently at the age of 34.

Born in York on February 2nd 1980, although he grew up in Middlesbrough,  Martin Blake George Garratt progressed through the York City youth set up making his first team debut at Preston in a 3-0 defeat in August 1998.

A hard working box to box left sided midfield player he retained his place throughout most of the season eventually totalling 33 starts and five appearances from the bench scoring once.  The Minstermen though were relegated, along with the Imps, from Division 2 at the end of the season.

After a spell training with Leeds United during the summer of 1999 Martin returned to York and made 2+5 Football League appearances for them in the early part of the season before being sacked in October for undisclosed personal problems. An attempted return with Mansfield Town the following March saw him appear 4+2 times in the League for the Stags but they lost every match he appeared in.

A short spell in Ireland with St Patricks Athletic followed before signing on a non-contract basis for the Imps in December 2000.  His stay lasted just three games with his debut coming in a 3-1 Football League Trophy victory against Blackpool on January 9th and two Football League appearances, both away and both finishing in 1-0 defeats at Plymouth and Southend.

After leaving Sincil Bank he had brief spells with Hednesford and North Ferriby before returning to live in Middlesbrough.

In recent years he had been struggling with a drink problem and was the subject of an ASBO in 2010 banning him from numerous Middlesborough pubs and being drunk in a public place. He was found dead in a house in the town on October 24th 2014 with the cause not yet confirmed.

Former teammate and now head of York’s academy (and one time Lincoln youth coach)  Andy McMillan said: "He came through the system and he was a real talent. He was always one of the first ones on the training ground and one of the last ones to leave.

"This game can be pretty cruel. I've lots of memories about him coming through the YTS. He always looked very, very comfortable. I have these pictures in my head about him playing two touch football and him winning every time."

Sources: The York Press, The Northern Echo, English National Football Archive