Martin is a former rugby union player who played lock forward for Northampton Saints and Bedford Blues and internationally – for England gaining thirty-one caps and for British Lions, three. Born in Bedford, the 6’ 10” policeman made his England debut in 1991 and although he was omitted from the 1991 World Cup squad, Martin featured in the 1992 Five Nations Grand Slam winning side. He went on to take part in the 1993 British Lions tour to New Zealand, and was a member of the 1995 World Cup squad. Martin played eighteen times partnering Martin Johnson, and his final appearance for England came in the 1996 Five Nations match against Wales. His last game was against Gloucester in February 1998, a neck injury sustained in training a few days later forced him to retire.