Former national league club APIA-Leichhardt want to re-name their historic Lambert Park ground in honour of the legendary Joe Marston.
Former national league club APIA-Leichhardt want to re-name their historic Lambert Park ground in honour of the legendary Joe Marston once the $2.2million upgrade of the stadium is completed.
The Tigers played in the NSL for 14 years before dropping back to the NSW state competition in 1993, and see the forthcoming redevelopment of Lambert Park as the spark to revitalise one of Australia's oldest clubs.
APIA-Leichhardt played their final league match at the ground last weekend (a 2-0 loss to Sydney Olympic), and work is expected to start this month on a refurbishment which includes upgraded floodlighting, the installation of a synthetic playing surface, new dressing rooms and canteen facilities, as well as minor improvements to the Marion Street grandstand. The Tigers will play their remaining fixtures of the season away from home while the work is completed. The upgraded facility will be ready for the 2014 season.
Football has been played at Lambert Park for at least 70 years, and possibly up to 100 years. Leichhardt-Annandale, the original tenants, were formed in 1910, and played at the ground until 1956. The following year APIA-Leichhardt took over as tenants, and have played there ever since.
Marston spanned both eras of the club - starting out as a player for Leichhardt-Annandale in 1943, before retiring as player-coach of APIA-Leichhardt in 1964. Marston, who was born in Leichhardt, met his future wife, Edith, in the grandstand at Lambert Park, and went on to have two further spells as coach (1966 and 1973).
Long-serving APIA-Leichhardt president Tony Raciti wants the new-look Lambert Park to honour the club's favourite son, and is hoping to get support from Leichhardt Council for the name change in time for the official re-opening early next year. Marston, now 87, lives on the NSW Central Coast.