Michael Robinson, the former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland forward, has died at the age of 61.
A statement published on Robinson’s verified Twitter account on Tuesday confirmed the news, reading: “With tremendous sadness we tell you about Michael’s passing.
Con tremenda tristeza os comunicamos el fallecimiento de Michael. Nos deja un gran vacío, pero también innumerables recuerdos, llenos del mismo amor que le habéis demostrado. Os estaremos eternamente agradecidos por haber hecho a este hombre TAN FELIZ, nunca caminó solo. Gracias
— Michael Robinson (@michaelrobinson) April 28, 2020
“It leaves us with a great emptiness, but also countless memories, filled with the same love that you have shown for him.
“We will be eternally grateful to you for making this man SO HAPPY, he never walked alone. Thank you.”
Robinson, who the European Cup, Division One title and the League Cup in 1984 in his first – and only – full season with Liverpool, revealed in December 2018 he had been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma.
During a career which started with Preston, Robinson also played for Brighton, Manchester City, QPR and Osasuna. He scored four goals in 24 appearances for the Republic of Ireland.
After his spell with Osasuna, Robinson remained in Spain, going on to develop a formidable career as a broadcaster.
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The tributes started pouring in for Robinson, with Liverpool’s former Spanish internationals Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia taking to Twitter to pass on their condolences.
Alonso wrote: “You’ll never walk alone Michael!! Rest in peace.”
Garcia wrote: “R.I.P Michael Robinson. The Liverpool legend that got in all the Spanish homes with his fantastic commentaries every Weekend !! #YNWA”
Spanish giants Barcelona said on the social networking site: “We at FC Barcelona wish to express our deepest condolences for the passing of Michael Robinson, a person who loved football and who knew how to explain it with knowledge and ingenuity.
“He was the winner of the 2018 Vazquez Montalban International Journalism Award. Rest In Peace”
Former Liverpool players John Wark and Gary Gillespie, teammates of Robinson during his time at Anfield, both joined talkSPORT to pay their own tributes.
“I was shocked,” began Wark, “because I didn’t realise he hadn’t been well.
“I just came downstairs and it was on the radio, so I went upstairs and told the missus, ‘a lad I played with has just passed away, at a young age’.
“He didn’t play all the time [at Liverpool], like myself, but I tell you something: he was a handful when he was playing.
“He was one of the fastest players I remember, and as strong as an ox; on his day he was unplayable.”
Gillespie added: “He was always a confident lad and he always had a smile on his face. Nothing really got him down too much, and what a wonderful career he enjoyed in Spain.
“It’s so sad that it’s all done prematurely; 61 years of age is no age whatsoever.
“It’s never easy; it’s always so sad when one of your fellow players and someone you played with dies.
“You remember them in their pomp and their peak and you don’t realise you are getting a bit older, and then something like this happens.”
The Royal Spanish Football Federation said in a statement: “The RFEF wishes to join the pain of the football world over the death of Michael Robinson. All of us who form this institution wish to express our condolences to their family and friends. Rest in peace.”