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Former Gloucester Rugby player Martin Roberts passes away

Everyone at Gloucester Rugby is deeply saddened to hear that former player, Martin Roberts, has passed away suddenly at the age of 48.

Martin Roberts was born in Gloucester on 26 January 1968. His parents came from the Forest of Dean. The family moved to Gloucester and he was educated at Parton Manor Primary School, Churchdown and Chosen Hill School.

Starting his rugby career with Cheltenham, he joined Gloucester as a centre for the 1989-90 season. He made his debut against Stroud on 5 September 1989, scoring a try under the posts.

The following season he had a more extended run in the first team at full back and made his Courage Championship debut against Harlequins in front of a packed Kingsholm on 27 April 1991. He kicked 14 points in a 38-19 victory. In all, he kicked 92 points and scored 4 tries in the 11 games he played.

Still regarded as a goal-kicking full back, Roberts made a breakthrough in 1992-93 when he played 21 games and scored 157 points, including 7 tries. He played in the victorious Gloucester team that toured in Ireland, winning the Kinsale Sevens.

The following two seasons he played as a utility player, filling in at full back, centre or, on occasion, on the wing.  Then in March 1995 centre Simon Morris suffered a cruciate ligament injury, and so began a centre partnership between himself and Don Caskie, which took Gloucester through the two key seasons between the start of the professional game and the arrival of Tom Walkinshaw at Gloucester.

Roberts started 17 of the 20 league games in 1995-96 and 18 out of 22 in 1996-97. It was a difficult time for Gloucester as Director of Rugby Richard Hill and a largely locally recruited team on a limited budget fought for survival. None fought harder than the centres Caskie and Roberts.

With the arrival of international centres Richard Tombs and Terry Fanolua in the summer of 1997, opportunities became limited and Roberts played only a handful of first XV games in 1997-98. He decided to join Ian Smith at Moseley before moving on to Pertemps Bees and Cinderford.

He also coached at Hereford and Chosen Hill.

Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

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