the real fa cup

Our First Guest!


Guesty getting to the ball first

Name: Martyn Guest
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 14st
Previous Clubs: Tilbury, Bowers & Pitsea

Thanks to Martyn for being the first realfacup victim. We were as much interview virgins as, apparently, he was. Anyway, therealfacup could have talked to him for hours but he has a life, even if we don’t.

The confidence that comes with the new, the yet to unfold, can be a very short lived confidence, particularly in football. Going into this season at Basildon United Martyn thinks it could be a good one. After last year’s encouraging mid table finish, “the retention of players and manager mean this could be a good season” for the club. This could be a good cup run too, The Bees have fairly recently beaten their FA Cup opposition convincingly in last year’s FA Vase so they have nothing to fear from their perhaps better known opponents.

Whether he has the fear or not, Martyn says “he always respects the opposition” and his admiration for local rivals Bowers, Tilbury and Tiptree is clear, the latter he rates as his “toughest opponents”. ‘Guesty’ didn’t elaborate on why Tiptree are tough opponents, just that they are a good team. Neither was he specific about which players were toughest, which I’m happy to gloss over in favour of added mystery and we don’t want to give away his secrets. But, he’ll only have to wait until December for that particular tough fixture to come round again.

Job: General Builder
Car: Ford Transit
Nickname: Guesty
Favourite Player: David Beckham

As for the FA Cup, Martyn’s looking forward to it, he’s only played for the jug once before so can’t wait to get into it. Erith Town or Ampthill Town await in the next round and Leighton Town, Langford or Aylesbury in the 1st Qualifying Round but I asked him who he’d most like to get if they get through. Perhaps surprisingly, or maybe realistically, Martyn didn’t get all misty eyed and start dreaming of clashes with the big 4 or his favoured West Ham. Without hesitation, he went for Ryman Premier League side Hornchurch, because “I used to live there, so that would be good”.

Until 15th August, therealfacup will not see Martyn play but he modestly describes himself as “a no nonsense centre back, comfortable on the ball and can play a bit”. We’ll see what his team mates have to say if they read this, particularly Mr Poulter the below mentioned dressing room joker. That said, he tell us this with a matter-of-fact air, with realism and no sense of drama or arrogance. It sits comfortably alongside his Hornchurch wish for the Cup, his assertion that the biggest influences on his career are his friends and the down to earth realism for the season ahead. We’re building up a picture of a very amiable, honest, hard working guy happy with his lot and looking forward to the season.

‘Good effort’ is Martyn’s apt favourite football cliche, effort and application is clearly an important ethic for him and he’s quick to acknowledge the role that manager and fans play in that ethic. At the end of the interview he wanted to “thank the fans and manager for their support and good luck to Football 4 The Community”, the Basildon United community project.

Most Difficult Opponents: Tiptree
Favourite Team: West Ham
Basildon Utd Dressing Room Joker: Stephen Poulter
Pre-Match Meal: Beans On Toast
Favourite TV Show: Friends

Although thanking the fans that do come, I get the impression that Martyn would like the Football 4 The Community project to succeed in bringing more fans into the ground on match days and ramping up the atmosphere, a thought Ipm sure shared by his team mates and Chairman

I asked Martyn if the fans had any songs about him and he was either being coy or the Basildon fans need to sing a bit louder.

Drifting away from the immediate future, I asked Martyn about the gulf between the Essex Senior League and the very top of the pyramid. There was no trace of envy in his response, “I’m not too bothered earning a fortune from the game because I enjoy playing” but he conceded, with a chuckle, that he “wouldn’t turn it down if it came along”. Not in a rush to swap the Transit for a Ferrari in a hurry but Martyn did admit that if a bigger club came in for him he said he’d definitely think about testing himself at a higher level. Martyn’s too modest to say how far up the pyramid he could go but, if you’re reading, Alex Ferguson, he thinks your The Gaffer of gaffers.

Favoutie Pop Star: John Mayer
Favourite Food: Steak
Best Place Visited: Cancun, Mexico
Miscellaneous Likes: Playing Golf
Miscellaneous Dislikes: Stressing About Things

Again, thanks to Martyn for sparing us a few minutes of precious Friday evening time. I don’t think he noticed that I’d been drinking all day at the cricket and was a little worse for wear but, if he did, he didn’t laugh too loud.

Good luck Martyn, Basildon Utd and all teams playing for this year’s Cup


With thanks to Richard Mann, Andy Everett and the man himself, Guesty.

Leave a Reply

Non League Day
Bobby Robson Foundation