James Edward Marston was born on 7 January 1926, in working-class Leichhardt to Joseph, a hat-maker, and his wife, Jessie. Joe and elder brother Ron attended Orange Grove Public School in Lilyfield, where Joe excelled at sport, especially swimming and soccer. His boyhood dream was to reach the top as a soccer player and coach.
Marston first played with Leichhardt-Annandale reserves in 1942. He made first grade the following year. Representative soccer for Sydney, New South Wales and Australia soon followed. A weekend surf-lifesaver, Marston was on patrol on Christmas Day, 1949, when an offer came from English side, Preston North End.
He was working in a paintbrush factory on a basic wage. Like all amateur sportspeople in Australia, he was paid a pittance. His match fee playing for Australia was only five pounds. The lure of being paid approximately 12 pounds sterling a week as a professional appealed.
Arriving in Preston by train after their long flight to England, with overnight stopovers in Singapore, Karachi and Cairo, Marston and wife Edith were greeted by several hundred cheering fans waiting in the snow at the railway station. Neither had ever seen snow.
Marston repaid Preston's faith in him many times over, playing a key role in their fight to return to the first division. After a season in the reserves, he was promoted to the first team as a centre-half to replace captain Harry Mattinson, who broke his leg in an FA Cup tie. Marston kept Mattinson's coveted number five shirt until Easter 1955, an extraordinary run of 197 consecutive league and cup matches.
By 1953, the Marstons were homesick. Preston fans, fearing the loss of their champion Australian, paid the family's fare home for a holiday on the condition they return. Around this time, Preston rejected an extraordinary £80,000 offer from Arsenal for Marston.
Preston lost the 1954 FA Cup Final 3-2 to West Bromwich Albion, but Marston savoured the memories, including meeting the Queen Mother. Marston was made the club's captain in 1955, the year he achieved his highest honour in England, playing for an English League selection against the Scottish League at Hampden Park.
This design pays tribute to Marston's appearance in the FA Cup Final.
Joe Marston FA Cup Final T-shirt
- Unisex, regular fit
- Crew neck
- Mid-weight, 180 GSM
- 100% combed cotton
- Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
Size S M L XL 2XL 3XL W 47 52 56.5 61 64 68 L 71 75 78.5 82 83.5 85
Body width/length (cm)
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