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'A brilliant story-teller as well as a top player'

Old team-mates pay tribute to former Albion striker Michael Robinson.

By Bruce Talbot • 28 April 2020

By Evening Argus
Mark Lawrenson tussles with Michael Robinson in the 1983 FA Cup tie. They later became Liverpool team-mates

Tributes have been paid by former team-mates and figures from across football for former Albion striker Michael Robinson, who has died at the age of 61 after a long battle against cancer.

As well as Albion, where the striker spent three years in the early 1980s and scored 22 goals in his debut season, Robinson played for Preston, Manchester City, Liverpool, QPR and Spanish club Osasuna. He settled in Spain and carved out a very successful career as a football pundit on Spanish TV. Spanish clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all tweeted messages of sympathy for Robinson, who also won 13 Republic of Ireland caps.

Former Albion team-mate Mark Lawrenson said: “I’m gutted to hear of the passing of Michael Robinson aka The Cat. We played cricket together in our teens, he followed me to Preston then Brighton, Republic of Ireland and finally Liverpool. He even bought my house off me in Hove. It’s a sad, sad day.”

Ex-Albion striker John Byrne played alongside Robinson at QPR and remembered him as a ‘top player.’

Byrne said: “I’m absolutely gutted to hear that my ex-QPR teammate Michael Robinson has passed away. Robbo was my roommate on away trips and was such a nice guy. He was a brilliant storyteller as well as a top player. RIP my friend.”

Graeme Souness, who played alongside Robinson for Liverpool, said: ““He was a close pal of mine and I’m absolutely sick for his family. It’s a sad day for me. I’ve tried to ring him a couple of times in the last couple of weeks and Michael’s a very emotional man and he wouldn’t pick up the phone any more to me.

“It was only last night where I was thinking: ‘I’m going to try him and try him till I get him.’ I thought: ‘I won’t ring him now because he may be in his bed having an early night,’ and I was going to ring him today. And I’ve not got a chance to speak to him. Football is very important in all our lives, but when someone dies before their time... I’m really proud to have called him a friend of mine."

Michael Robinson celebrates with Peter Ward and manager Jimmy Melia after Albion's FA Cup win at Anfield in 1983

Former Liverpool team-mate Bruce Grobbelaar told the Liverpool Echo: "I knew that he has a problem with cancer and was in remission, but I am devastated that he has passed.

"Wherever he has been in football, Brighton, Liverpool and then Spain where he became a football pundit, he was a good, genuine guy. He was a superb gentleman.”

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker added: “Very sorry to hear that Michael Robinson has passed away. Not only a fine footballer but he was also a great success post football in Spain, having his own television show there for many years...and that is quite an achievement. RIP Michael.”

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