CRAIG MARTIN – PLAYER
Craig Martin was born in Niagara Falls in 1957. He began playing soccer at an early age thanks to neighbors who immigrated from Germany and the UK and kicking a ball around was a way of life! Craig learned the basics through the NF minor soccer association and by playing for his high school, Stamford CVI where he was named athlete of the year in 1976. (Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling)
Craig came to Hamilton in 1976 to study at McMaster University where he graduated with degrees in Physical and Health Education and an MBA (80, 82). In his five year soccer career at McMaster Craig had the great fortune to play for Hamilton coaching icons including Frank Donlavey, Tony Taylor and Bob Bearpark (CSA HOF 2006). Craig was captain and twice MVP and OUAA all-star. During his summers in Hamilton Craig was a Coach and head Coach at the McMaster Sport fitness school introducing local children to the game. Craig earned his McMaster “M” was elected to the McMaster Athletics HOF in 2006.
In 1979 Craig was introduced to another Hamilton soccer coaching legend, John Macdonald, who was recruiting players for Dundas United soccer club. Craig played two years with Dundas and was part of the 1980 Spectator Cup championship team which included David Barker, Jerry Shaw, Gary Dudley and John Gibson.
In 1981 Craig joined the National Soccer League’s Hamilton Steelers playing for Carlo Del Monte which went on to win the NSL Triple Crown and were recently inducted into the Hamilton Soccer HOF (2017). Craig had the honour of being selected MVP of the 1982 NSL Playoff Champion Steelers. In 1983 the Steelers joined the CPSL and reached the final in a season shortened schedule where they would lose to Edmonton Eagles.
During this same period Craig had the opportunity to play for the Ontario Senior Select Team that were finalists both in 1980 and 81 winning the Schreyer Cup (National Champion) in 1980 in a game where Craig scored twice vs. Manitoba. Bob Bearpark invited Craig to join his Olympic Team camp in 1983 to compete in the qualifying games to represent CONACAF at the 84 games of Los Angeles. The team qualified and finished 6th after a penalty shot loss to Brazil. In what was an amazing life and soccer experience Craig earned 6 Full and 15 total international caps.
After leaving Hamilton Craig was fortunate to be a member of the 1985 Ontario Cup Champion’ Toronto Emerald.
Craig is proud to be honoured with an induction to the Hamilton Soccer Hall of fame and very thankful that he has been blessed with coaches who have helped him make the most of his talents and teammates that have inspired and contributed to a wonderful soccer life!