Carl Marston - Colchester United & Ipswich Town

Born in 1966 (an appropriate year for a future football writer) and blessed with an appetite for shunning hard work, Carl chose to steer clear of following in his dad Eric's footsteps as a Suffolk farmer, and instead opted for the pen and laptop rather than the shovel and plough.
He found his niche at Edinburgh University, not necessarily as a 'History with English Literature' student, but as a sports editor at the university's 'The Student' newspaper. He landed this role, again not due to any great prowess on his part, but due to a complete lack of interest from anyone else. So for the next four years, during the second half of the 1980s, Carl immersed himself in writing, subbing, editing and even selling the weekly uni paper.
Whereas the editor at the time, Tom Bradbury, has gone on to have a stellar career in television as a former royal correspondent and current presenter of ITN News at Ten,  as well as being a successful novelist, Uni sports editor Carl followed a more sedate route as a sports writer at the Ipswich-based East Anglian Daily Times newspaper across four decades. Once again, he had luck in landing the job. His ability to find a pub that was open (not an easy task at 3pm on a midweek afternoon in Bury St Edmunds in 1989, before the wonders of all-day drinking) so impressed then-sports editor Tony Garnett that a junior role was his for the taking.
The following day, he was sent off to Frinton-on-Sea to cover day one of the Frinton Junior Tennis Tournament, on the Essex coast. Here he stayed for the whole week. Having immersed himself in the local summer tennis circuit, which also took him to the bright lights of Framlingham and Felixstowe, he finally found more solid ground as a football reporter, firstly for his home club Bury Town, and then on to the wonders of the Football League circuit following the fortunes of Cambridge United (John Beck's golden era of the early 1990s), Colchester United (for the best part of 30 years, following their return to the League in 1992) and Ipswich Town (where he was kept busy hanging on the coattails of manager Roy Keane, and making sure he always avoided the Irishman's cold stare).
Having reached a certain age, when travelling 600 miles to Carlisle United and back, or 600 miles in the other direction to Plymouth Argyle and back, had lost its charm (or at least its gloss), Carl chose to dust down his 50-odd scrap books (of match reports, all of them a pulsating read) and compile a book of his 30-odd years as a regional football reporter, by recounting his many visits to a total of 124 different Football League grounds (EFL and Premier). The result was 'ON THE ROAD WITH U'S AND BLUES,' a rollercoaster 352-page account of life on the road and, in dingy press boxes up and down the land, as a journeyman reporter. 


          On the Road with U's and Blues
          Author : Carl Marston
          ISBN: 9781780916224
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Away from the world of journalism, and the world of football, Carl has satisfied his spirit for travel and adventure (as if an away trip to Accrington Stanley on a Tuesday night in January was not enough) by walking from Land's End to John O'Groats for charity as an impoverished student in 1987, scaling Kilimanjaro, trekking to K2 base camp and toiling through the Amazon rain forest to clamber up Brazil's highest peak Pico de Neblina in the 1990s, and then running the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert in the noughties (this took him a week, not a decade). But his biggest achievement was 'making sure' that Colchester United clinched automatic promotion to the Championship on the final day of the regular 2005-06 season. Otherwise, his and his future wife Helen's decision to plan their wedding day, blissfully unaware it was on the same day as the League One play-off final, would have been labelled the worst of all own goals.



                                                                     Carl with his wife Helen


Email Carl: or

Twitter account: @Carl_Marston                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


Colchester Daily Gazette website :

Deadlines, dodgy pies and dressing room lock-ins: the colourful new book that's a real treat for U's fans.  On the Road with U's and Blues is a must for all Colchester United fans.