MICHAEL ROBINSON 1958-2020

Former Liverpool, Manchester City and Osasuna player Michael Robinson has died

The former footballer and TV commentator passed away on Tuesday, aged 61 after a long illness. He had been battling skin cancer since 2018.

Former Liverpool, Manchester City and Osasuna player Michael Robinson has died

Former footballer and TV commentator Michael Robinson passed away on Tuesday, aged 61 after a long illness. He had been battling skin cancer since December 2018. Despite battling with the illness, which he knew was terminal from the moment he was diagnosed, Robinson continued working as a in his job as a football commenter and pundit for Movistar+ and with Cadena SER almost right up until the end.

Robinson, who was born to Irish parents in Leicester, will always be remembered for his links to Liverpool, although he started out in 1975 in the youth ranks at Preston North End. He joined Manchester City as a teenager but started to get noticed at his next club, Brighton & Hove Albion which was where Liverpool noticed him. He always performed well against Liverpool and generally scored in matches against the Reds which prompted them to sign him in 1983 although he had a tough job competing with Ian Rush for a regular place in the side. He stayed at Anfield for two seasons, winning the league, League Cup and European Cup in 1984. He came on as a late sub in the European Cup final against Roma but it was all over before his turn in the penalty shoot-out. “I have always thanked by lucky stars that I didn't have to take a penalty that night. I was down to take the sixth penalty. We were all afraid of missing,” he later recounted. Robinson also absent-mindedly left the trophy in the duty free shop at Rome aiport on the trip home to Liverpool but fortunately remembered where he had left it before boarding the plane home.

Spain beckons

"For me as a kid, going to Anfield was like Father Christmas coming every two weeks," he said of his lifelong love of the club, which remained as strong when he moved to Spain in the mid-80s, joining Osasuna in 1986. "At the beginning I didn't know where I was, I thought the city was called Osasuna. I looked to see where the team was in the table, they were second from bottom. I said to my wife that there was no way I could save them, they should have signed Spiderman or David Copperfield. I had other offers, but Osasuna seemed the most romantic to me..."

In 1999, Michael Robinson as a pundit for Canal+

In Pamplona, he team mates team mates took it upon themselves to teach him Spanish - Robinson only found out later that his team mates had been substituting everyday words for expletives. He was well loved at Osasuna and toasted his goals, including a few against Real Madrid, with a bull fighter pass celebration. But a series of knee injuries forced him to retire early. He hung up his boots in 1989 aged 30 but remained in Spain where he had grown used to the lifestyle. "I came for football and fell in love with Spain," he would say on many occasions.

Just a few months after hanging up his boots, Robinson was offered work as with new Canal+ franchise, appearing as a pundit and later as a number 2 commentator on El Día Después. The last match he worked on as a commentator was the Champions League return leg between his beloved Liverpool and Atlético Madrid at Anfield - at the end of the game, as he congratulated Atleti, you could clearly detect the great disappointment in his voice at seeing his team bow out.