Michael Robinson (footballer)

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Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson.JPG
Personal information
Full name Michael John Robinson
Date of birth (1958-07-12) 12 July 1958 (age 60)
Place of birth Leicester, England
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1979 Preston North End 48 (15)
1979–1980 Manchester City 30 (8)
1980–1983 Brighton & Hove Albion 113 (37)
1983–1984 Liverpool 30 (6)
1984–1986 Queens Park Rangers 48 (5)
1987–1989 Osasuna 58 (12)
Total 327 (83)
National team
1980–1986 Republic of Ireland 24 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Michael John Robinson (born 12 July 1958) is a retired footballer who played as a striker.

He appeared in more than 300 official games in England for five different clubs, including Liverpool, and played the last three seasons of his career in Spain with Osasuna. He represented the Republic of Ireland at international level.

Robinson settled in Spain after retiring in 1989, was awarded its citizenship and went on to work as a television pundit in the following decades.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Leicester, England, Robinson started his career with Preston North End in the second division, then moved in August 1979 to Malcolm Allison's Manchester City, the fee of £750,000 being widely regarded as extravagant for a young player with no First Division experience. He was sold at a loss later that season to Brighton & Hove Albion, and rebuilt his reputation as both a strong and skilful attacking player.

Robinson made an impact in the 1982–83 FA Cup final, feeding the ball to Gordon Smith for his infamous miss in the first game against Manchester United, performing outstandingly in a 2–2 draw but eventually losing in the second match at Wembley (0–4). It was enough, however, for clubs to bid for him, who was keen to leave due to Brighton's relegation.

Liverpool came in for Robinson and paid Brighton £250,000 for him and he duly battled with established Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush for a place up front. In that first season his new team won three trophies – the league, the league cup (where he was a used substitute in the final 0–0 draw against Everton, and did not feature in the replay) and the European Cup (being a used replacement in the final against A.S. Roma)[1]– and he played enough games to earn a title medal.

Despite showing some ability, Robinson was often on the substitutes’ bench, and so moved on to Queens Park Rangers at the end of 1984: there, he was an unlucky loser at Wembley again, in the 1986 League Cup final against Oxford United (0–3). However, during the run to the decisive match, he earned himself a place in QPR fans' hearts, when he scored a 40-yard goal against arch-rivals Chelsea in the quarter-final replay at Stamford Bridge.

Robinson moved to Spain to play for CA Osasuna in January 1987, with ex-Liverpool team-mate Sammy Lee joining in August.[2] He retired in summer 1989 at the age of 31 after making 58 La Liga appearances for the club and scoring 12 goals, two of which came in 1987–88 campaign as the Navarrese overachieved for a final fifth place.[3]

Robinson, who won 24 caps for the Republic of Ireland, stayed in Spain after retiring, having settled very well in the country and learned the language to fluency, a trait that was later picked up on by Steve McManaman (with Real Madrid from 1999 to 2003), who regarded Robinson as his mentor.[4]

Michael Robinson: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition


1 19 November 1980 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  Cyprus 3–0 6–0 1982 World Cup qualification
2 9 September 1981 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Netherlands 1–1 2–2 1982 World Cup qualification
3 14 October 1981 Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland  France 3–1 3–2 1982 World Cup qualification
4 21 September 1983 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 0–2 0–3 Euro 1984 qualifying




Media career[edit]

After retiring, Robinson began his broadcasting career in Spain as a commentator for Radio Televisión Española, covering the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.[6] He later worked as a commentator and presenter on Cadena SER's El Larguero and then on the subscription channel Canal+,[7] where he hosted the cult television show El día después for 14 years (1991–2005),[8] Following the show's demise he continued working with the network, as co-commentator on their live coverage of the Sunday football match on El día del fútbol, as well as presenting a monthly sports magazine series called Informe Robinson.[9]

Speaking to Simon Hughes, Robinson said "I came over on 7 January 1987. I didn't know if I was going to be here forever. But something strange happened. I enjoyed more or less everything about Spain and the way the Spanish interpreted life. I finished up realising that I had loads in common with the Spaniards. We laughed about the same things, cried about the same things."[10]

In addition, Robinson also worked as a pundit for Setanta Sports, covering Republic of Ireland away internationals[11] and also being the president of the Iberian Superleague, a rugby union league covering the Iberian Peninsula.[12] As a broadcaster he also covered for Canal+ rugby events, including the World Cup and the Six Nations Championship.[13]

Robinson also did voice-over work on television adverts, as well as feature films – voicing the ugly sister in the dubbed Spanish versions of the Shrek films by DreamWorks Animation.[14]



  • Robinson, Michael (1996). Las cosas de Robin [Robin's Things] (in Spanish). Madrid: Ediciones El País-Aguilar. p. 248. ISBN 84-03-59722-3.
  • Robinson, Michael (2001). Lo que el ojo no ve [What the eye doesn't see] (in Spanish). Madrid: Ediciones Aguilar. p. 196. ISBN 84-03-09252-0.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Robinson: "Me dejé olvidada la Copa de Europa en el 'duty free'" (Michael Robinson: "I forgot the European Cup in the duty free"); El Mundo, 24 April 2018 (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Sammy Lee, el amigo leyenda de Robinson (Sammy Lee, Robinson's legendary friend); Marca, 30 March 2012 (in Spanish)
  3. ^ La Era Robinson en Osasuna: 58 partidos, 12 goles y un quinto puesto (The Robinson Age at Osasuna: 58 matches, 12 goals and a fifth place); Diario de Navarra, 20 February 2018 (in Spanish)
  4. ^ From teenage flop at City to Spanish 'Des', the opinionated life of Robinson; The Independent, 10 May 2002
  5. ^ "Michael Robinson". European Football. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  6. ^ Canal + contrata a Michael Robinson como comentarista de fútbol (Canal + hires Michael Robinson as football commentator); El País, 29 August 1991 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ ‘El Larguero’: Michael Robinson, el “tapado” de la SER para sustituir a De la Morena (‘El Larguero’: Michael Robinson, SER's “underdog” to replace De la Morena); PR Noticias, 19 May 2016 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Michael Robinson: “La muerte de ‘El Día Después’ me dolió casi tanto como mi retirada del fútbol” (Michael Robinson: "The death of El día después hurt me as much as my retirement from football"); Diarios de Fútbol, 14 March 2007 (in Spanish)
  9. ^ Movistar+ celebra los 10 años de 'Informe Robinson' (Movistar+ celebrates 10th anniversary of 'Informe Robinson'); Europa Press, 26 October 2017 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Michael Robinson: A complete chapter from ‘Red Machine: Liverpool FC in the ’80s: The players’ stories’; The Anfield Wrap, 12 July 2017
  11. ^ Robinson: Trap must adapt to bring success; Irish Independent, 20 August 2008
  12. ^ Michael Robinson: «No podíamos aceptar las exigencias de los lusos» (Michael Robinson: «We could not accept the Portuguese demands»); El Día de Valladolid, 5 March 2009 (in Spanish)
  13. ^ Canal Plus cumple 20 años retransmitiendo el rugby (Canal Plus celebrates 20 years of rugby broadcasts); La Vanguardia, 30 January 2014 (in Spanish)
  14. ^ From North End to the West End; The Garstang Courier, 29 May 2014
  15. ^ 'Informe Robinson' de Canal+, Premio Ondas 2009 al mejor programa de actualidad (Canal+'s 'Informe Robinson', 2009 Ondas Award to best current affairs programme); Diario AS, 16 October 2009 (in Spanish)

External links[edit]

Television programmes