Remembering Rab, Newington's favourite son
NEWINGTON Football Club lost one of its most popular members last week.
I first met Rab Martin around eight years ago. He'd attended a few of our games and was promptly recruited to lend a helping hand.
Rab would have been in his mid-to-late 50s then and became an indispensible member of Newington.
There was an indefinable touch of class about Rab Martin - and he was the best listener in the room. You would leave his company and feel better about the world.
The chief reason to attend a Newington game was to shoot the breeze with Rab.
He attended fixtures meetings and involved himself in all kinds of match-day duties.
Rab became great friends with our manager Eamonn McCarthy. He was Eamonn's most trusted sounding board, his right-hand man, and most important of all his friend.
In his youth, Rab travelled to watch his beloved Celtic win the European Cup in 1967 in Lisbon and was a regular attender at Parkhead.
In his later years, he worked a few days a week with his son Anthony and spent what spare time he had in his house in north Donegal.
Even though his health was deteriorating, Rab persuaded the Hospice doctors to allow him out for an hour or two to watch a Celtic game in Eamonn's house just last month.
Rab brought chocolates for Eamonn's two young daughters.
They talked Celtic. They talked Newington.
They drank flat coke and ate a box of Quality Street between them. That night, the future didn't matter.
When did it ever matter?
It was the last proper conversation they shared. Rab was a special person. He will be fondly remembered by everyone at Newington Football Club. Hail, hail...