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Martin Burleigh (1951-2021)

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Burleigh has died at the age of 70.

The Willington-born shot-stopper joined the Magpies from his local club in 1968 and spent six years at St. James' Park. Although he made only 15 senior appearances for United, he was a capable and long-standing deputy for Irish international Willie McFaul.

He made his debut against Leeds United on Boxing Day 1970, and earned praise from home manager Don Revie despite his side's defeat, but had to wait more than a year before his next first team appearance and then, when an injury to McFaul seemingly offered him the opportunity to finally stake a claim for the number one shirt, he suffered a broken finger against Southampton. 

After clashing with manager Joe Harvey, which led to him considering joining the RAF, he left the club and went on to have two spells with Darlington. He also represented Carlisle United and Hartlepool United, making more than 200 Football League appearances in all before returning to non-league football and working as a painter and decorator in Ferryhill, County Durham. 

The club extends its condolences to Martin's family and friends.​

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