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Matt touched by fan's gesture

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town captain Matt Holland today told The Evening Star how he had been moved to hear that a young fan was prepared to offer his pocket money to keep him at Portman Road.

IPSWICH Town captain Matt Holland today told The Evening Star how he had been moved to hear that a young fan was prepared to offer his pocket money to keep him at Portman Road.

The skipper is currently in Finland with the Ireland squad as transfer speculation mounts at home.

But he had been kept in touch with the news – and heard that 12-year-old Martin Lambert of Trimley St Mary had offered to start a fund to keep him at Portman Road by offering his pocket money.

"I was deeply touched when I heard about the Evening Star story last night," he said. "It is a fabulous gesture by Martin – but so far as I am concerned the issue is not about money," said Matt.

"It took me aback to hear about Martin – I have always tried to build a rapport by the fans and it is good to hear my efforts have been appreciated."

Martin believes one day he will play alongside his hero.

He said he was serious about giving his money to Town because he hopes it will encourage other Blues fans to follow suit.

But he also knows that by giving away his £5 a week he will miss out on his swimming and going to the cinema.

Ambitious Martin, who is the eldest of four brothers, has been a Town season ticket holder for two years running and goes to every home match possible.

He has supported Town since he was a baby and his grandad, who lives with him in Mill

Pouch, Trimley St Mary, is also a keen supporter.

"He's a fantastic player, he is world class – irreplaceable," said Martin who has a poster of his hero on his bedroom wall.

"When we needed him he was there. He is Mr Reliable – we can always rely on Matty Holland."

The youngster believes giving away his £5 weekly pocket money towards the skipper's £15,000 a week wages will be worth it, especially if other supporters follow his example.

Not only is Martin offering his services as a financial consultant to relieve Town's debt worries, he also hopes to one day be a member of the team.

As a member of the under 13s team for Felixstowe and Walton FC, Martin has plans for the future.

The keen footballer, who prefers to play centre back, said he hoped to play for Town one day, alongside Holland.

And if he follows in the youthful footsteps of Wayne Rooney, the 16-year-old Everton prodigy or Town's own 18-year-old midfielder Darren Ambrose, Martin believes he may have a chance in at least four year's time.

What Martin, who will be going to Holland soon to play in a football tournament, may lack in experience, he makes up for in confidence and passion for the sport. When asked how he rates himself as a footballer he simply said: "The best!"

Fans have their say on Town's cash crisis – see pages 34 and 35.

Villa bid for Matt – see back page.

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www.itfc.co.uk

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