Former Norwich City defender Russell Martin joins the Green Party
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Former Norwich City defender Russell Martin has revealed that he joined the Green Party and admitted he was regularly subject to ribbing by his Canaries team-mates for his environmental views.
Martin spent nine years at Norwich making 309 appearances in total and becoming club captain and was a key figure as City won consecutive promotions to make it to the Premier League.
In a revealing interview with the Guardian, the former Scottish international central defender, has opened up about his lifestyle and political choices that include being a vegan.
The 32-year-old, who had a spell on loan at Rangers before leaving Norwich in August, admitted his views often surprised his team-mates.
He said: 'I used to get peppered at Norwich because I was always saying: 'Turn the tap off' when the lads brushed their teeth in the changing room. I remember having an argument with Jonny Howson about it one day – I just kept turning the tap off. I was like: 'What are you doing? You don't need it on!''
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Now player-coach at Walsall he admits some of his lifestyle choices including his veganism were developed as he struggled to overcome illness that dogged his later years at Norwich.
'I've been a vegan for four years, plant-based, so that awakens you socially to become a lot more conscious about things,' he said.
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'I'll be honest, that wasn't for ethical reasons at first it was purely health. I was struggling with ulcerative colitis and I did a lot of research into diet and what could help. But then when you become involved in that it raises your awareness of the ethical side. You actually look at it and think: 'This makes sense.''
He now owns an electric car, recycles and is passing on his views about sustainability and environmental awareness to his children. He was inspired to join the Green Party by its former leader and Brighton MP Caroline Lucas.
He said: 'I've voted Labour all my life but knowing Caroline a little bit, what she stands for, what the party represents, I just thought this aligns with my values and morals.'