Joe Marston
Marston in 1964
Personal information
Full name James Edward Marston
Date of birth (1926-01-07)7 January 1926
Place of birth Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia
Date of death 29 November 2015(2015-11-29) (aged 89)
Position(s) Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1943–1949 Leichhardt-Annandale
1950–1955 Preston North End 185 (0)
1955–1958 Leichhardt-Annandale
1959–1964 APIA Leichhardt
1969 Western Suburbs
International career
1947–1958 Australia 13 (0)
Managerial career
1958 Australia (Player-Coach)
1965 APIA Leichhardt
1966 Australia
1966 APIA Leichhardt
1967–1969 Western Suburbs
1972–1973 APIA Leichhardt
1974–1977 Auburn
1978–1979 Sydney Olympic
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

James Edward "Joe" Marston MBE (7 January 1926 – 29 November 2015) was an Australian association footballer who played as a defender. He became the first Australian to appear in a FA Cup Final when he turned out for Preston North End in their 1954 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.[1]


Marston 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, Marston 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.

Marston 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 for the 1952–53 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. Marston eventually returned to Australia in 1956 because of homesickness, despite pleas from Preston to stay. Marston was also the target of a purported 80,000 pound transfer offer made by Arsenal.

International career

Marston was an Australian football international appearing for the Socceroos during Blackpool's 1958 tour of Australia in which Stanley Matthews appeared; and appearing and coaching the national side during Hearts tour of the country in 1959.


Joe Marston and his wife Edith retired on the New South Wales Central Coast and maintained their passionate interest in association football.


Marston was awarded an MBE (1980)[2] and an Australian Sports Medal (2000) for services to his sport.[2][3] He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1988.[4]

Marston is an inductee into the NSW Hall of Champions. In September 2008, he was a recipient of one of the two inaugural Alex Tobin Medals awarded by the Australian Professional Footballers Association.[5] The Joe Marston Medal, awarded to the man of the match in the A-League and National Soccer League grand finals, was named in his honour. In January 2012, Marston was featured on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post in a series commemorating notable Australian footballers from several codes.[6]


On 29 November 2015, it was announced that Marston had died of natural causes after having been in frail health for a while.[7]


  1. ^ "From Sydney to Wembley - Marston's long haul to Cup final". The Independent. 10 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b "MARSTON, James Edward (Joe), MBE". It's an Honour. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Marston, Joe: Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Joe Marston". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Professional Footballers Australia". 3 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Stamp of approval as living legend Marston becomes a man of letters". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 January 2012.
  7. ^ Socceroos legend Joe Marston dead, aged 89 Sydney Morning Herald 29 November 2015