Edward Martin was born in Greasley, Nottinghamshire. He played for Selston Amateurs and Heanor Town and had an unsuccessful trial with West Bromwich Albion before signing for Brighton and Hove Albion of the Football League Third Division South in September 1932. He was a first-team regular in the last four seasons before the Football League was suspended for the duration of the Second World War and helped the Seagulls finish as runners-up in 1938–39. Martin served in the Army, and made guest appearances for Portsmouth and Bournemouth before resuming his Seagulls career in the 1945-46 FA Cup, He played no more league football through injury, and went on to work as an electrician in a Nottinghamshire colliery.
Edward died in Selston, Nottinghamshire, in 1990 at the age of 79.