City legend so thankful for 'really special day' following successful charity match at Carrow Road
One last Carrow Road appearance proved as emotional as expected for a tired Russell Martin - who was celebrating promotion himself at the weekend.
The former Canaries skipper played the full game as MK Dons beat rivals Mansfield 1-0 to seal automatic promotion to League One, before returning for his Norwich City farewell game alongside fellow legend Wes Hoolahan on Monday.
“Amazing, some of the best times I've had in my life have been at this place and shared with the people sitting in the stands and on the bench, and on the pitch, so emotional for me,” said Martin.
“Brilliant, it puts a full stop to it for now for me, really, and we'll see what happens in the future.
“Just so grateful to the club, for Delia and Michael, for Stuart (Webber), for putting this on, so pleased for the football club that they've done it and wish them all the best for the future now and we'll see what happens.”
The defender's two chosen charities were Crohns and Colitis UK and the Russell Martin Foundation, so was thrilled to see almost 20,000 people turn out for Monday's charity game featuring former players – and celebrate City's promotion at the same time.
“The promotion has definitely helped,” Martin continued, “There's just such a good feelgood factor around the place, you can feel it, and just so grateful.
“Just grateful that people have turned out for a really special day and obviously the most important thing was that it was for charity, so that's great.”
The 33-year-old made 309 appearances between 2009 and 2017 for City, agreeing to cut short his contract at the start of this season as he remained out of favour under Daniel Farke, going to Walsall initially before joining Milton Keynes in January.
He added: “A brilliant season, to see Norwich promoted and then one myself at the end of the season, then this, has been a great way to celebrate.”