Joe Marston, soccer player, Died at 89

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James Edward “Joe” Marston was born on January 7, 1926, and died on November 29, 2015.

He was an Australian association football player who became the first Australian to appear in an FA Cup Final when he turned out for Preston North End in their 1954 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

James was 28 when he played at Wembley Stadium alongside Tom Finney and Tommy Docherty.

After the War, Marston had played for Leichhardt-Annandale in Division 1 of the New South Wales State League, supplementing his income by working as a painter and life-guard.

In December 1949, James received correspondence from a scout in England who had watched him play, informing him that Preston wished to offer him a trial.

Their interest was such that they paid for Marston’s wife, Edith, to join him on the journey to England.

James spent time in the reserves, until an injury to Harry Mattinson enabled him to get a run in the first team during the Second Division title season in 1951 and losing out to Arsenal in the 1952 to 1953 season on goal average; remaining at centre-half at Deepdale as an ever-present until 1954, making 154 appearances and being selected for the Football League side against the Scottish Football League XI.

James eventually returned to Australia in 1956 because of homesickness, despite pleas from Preston to stay.

He was also the target of a purported 80,000 pound transfer offer made by Arsenal.

James and his wife Edith retired to the New South Wales Central Coast and maintained their passionate interest in association football.

James Marston passed away in the morning of 29 November 2015 at the age of 89.

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