- Robinson became a successful broadcaster in Spain
- Rafael Nadal and Andrés Iniesta lead online tributes
Liverpool manager Joe Fagan and Michael Robinson celebrate after victory in the 1984 European Cup final. Photograph: Frank Baron/Sporting Pictures/Action Images
The former Brighton and Liverpool striker Michael Robinson, who finished his career at Osasuna and then settled in Spain, has died aged 61.
Robinson’s family used his social media account to write: “With tremendous sadness we inform you of Michael’s death. It leaves us with a great emptiness but also countless memories full of the same love that you have shown him.
“We will be eternally grateful to you for making this man SO HAPPY, he never walked alone. Thank you.”
Robinson was part of the Liverpool squad who won a league, League Cup and European Cup treble in 1984 and played in the 1983 FA Cup final for Brighton. He won 24 Republic of Ireland caps.
He had an award-winning broadcasting career in Spain after retiring as a player and Barcelona paid tribute in a tweet that described him as “a person who loved football and who knew how to explain it with knowledge and ingenuity”.
Robinson, who announced in December 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma, started his career at Preston and also played for Manchester City and QPR.
Brighton, Liverpool and City tweeted that they were “deeply saddened” to learn of Robinson’s death and said their thoughts were with his loved ones. “For Albion fans of a certain vintage, we remember Michael at the Goldstone [Ground], playing with enthusiasm, tenacity and endeavour, yet always with a big smile on his face” said the Brighton chairman, Tony Bloom.
His former Liverpool teammate, Mark Lawrenson, said: “I used to call him ‘the wall’. He was very good at holding the ball up and causing defenders all sorts of problems – they couldn’t have a moment’s peace against him. Then he turned himself into the Des Lynam of Spanish football. It’s a sad day.”
On Twitter, tennis player Rafael Nadal posted a picture of himself alongside Robinson, calling him “one of our own … one who always made us happy about sport. We are grateful. People like him are very necessary in this world.”
Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres, Dani Ceballos and Jamie Carragher have all posted tributes, with Andrés Iniesta tweeting: “Rest in peace, Michael. What mornings, afternoons and nights we have spent with you … We will miss you.”
Panini Cromos (@paninicromos)
Referente de nuestro fútbol. Ya te echamos de menos.
Descansa en paz, Michael Robinson pic.twitter.com/PvW8GexYhg
Graeme Souness told Sky Sports’ Football Show: “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.”