Martyn Waghorn returns to his boyhood club this weekend
Martyn Waghorn returns to his first club Sunderland at the weekend and has outlined the debt of gratitude he owes a Black Cats legend.
The Town striker was at Sunderland’s Academy from the age of seven and was a ballboy at the club when Mick McCarthy was in charge of the first-team there.
Waggy went on to play for the senior side but admits that his career could have been over there before it began if Kevin Ball, who made more than 350 appearances for the Black Cats and is now an Ambassador there, had not stepped in.
“I had good times and bad times at Sunderland and at 15, I nearly got released there,” Martyn told the Club website.
“I was out of form. I wasn’t playing many games. I was changing positions all the time and not really making any progress.
“Kevin Ball, who was our youth coach at the time, got hold of me and basically taught me how to play football again. He got me doing the right things, got me doing the fundamentals right. The nitty-gritty stuff that you need to do in the game.
“He told me to get my head down, focus on my game. I changed position, scored a few goals and things started to work out for me.
“What Bally said then has stuck with me. I owe him and Sunderland a lot for giving me a chance and I think that is what football is about. You’ve got to take your chances. I took mine back then. Who knows what would have happened if I didn’t.”
Subscribers to iFollow Ipswich can watch an interview with Waggy on his return to Wearside this weekend. Full commentary from the game is available on iFollow Ipswich.