The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Wright

MK DONS’ long-serv­ing goal­keeper David Martin says the club will al­ways hold a spe­cial place in his heart, de­spite con­firm­ing he will be leav­ing at the end of the sea­son.

The 31-year-old, son of for­mer West Ham de­fender Alvin Martin, has made 332 ap­pear­ances for the Dons in eight-and-a-half years with them, across two spells.

Martin re­cently lost his place in the side fol­low­ing a back in­jury. Lee Ni­cholls is now the reg­u­lar pick be­tween the sticks and, af­ter dis­cus­sions with man­ager Rob­bie Neil­son, he feels it is time for a new chal­lenge.

Martin said: “I would like to thank the club, the fans and my team-mates for the fan­tas­tic sup­port I have al­ways re­ceived, while I re­serve a spe­cial thank you to my goal­keep­ing coach Paul Heald and our out­stand­ing chair­man, Pete Winkel­man.

“The high­lights for me were the first-ever meet­ing be­tween us and AFC Wim­ble­don, beat­ing Manch­ester United and gain­ing pro­mo­tion to the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship.

“I thank the fans that have sup­ported me through all the good and bad times we’ve seen at the club. Mil­ton Keynes will al­ways be a spe­cial place and club to me.

“I wish all my friends at the club all the very best for the fu­ture. I am proud to say I’ve been part of a spe­cial com­mu­nity and club.”

Martin be­gan his ca­reer at Wim­ble­don FC and fol­lowed them in their move to Mil­ton Keynes be­fore leav­ing for Liv­er­pool in 2006, where he spent four years be­fore re­turn­ing to the Dons.

Chair­man Win­kle­man said: “Dave has played a mas­sive part in our jour­ney as a foot­ball club and we will be for­ever grate­ful for that.

“He’s also been in­volved in some amaz­ing high­lights, ones which will live long in the mem­ory of our sup­port­ers.”

STAL­WART: David Martin

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