Michael Robinson (footballer)

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Michael Robinson
Personal information
Full name Michael John Robinson
Date of birth (1958-07-12) 12 July 1958 (age 59)
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 59 (12)
Total 328 (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.

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

Playing career[edit]

Robinson was born in Leicester; but when he was young, his parents moved to Blackpool to run a bed-and-breakfast hotel[1]. 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 top flight 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 Robinson, 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, Liverpool won three trophies – the league, the league cup (where he was a used substitute in the final 0–0 draw against Everton, but was not picked for the replay) and the European Cup (being a used replacement in the final against A.S. Roma) – and Robinson 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 quarterfinal replay at Stamford Bridge.

In January 1987 Robinson moved to Spain to play for CA Osasuna, with ex-Liverpool team-mate Sammy Lee joining in August. He retired in the summer of 1989 at the age of 31 after making 59 La Liga appearances for the club and scoring 12 goals, two of which came in 1987–88 season as the Navarrese overachieved for a final fifth place.

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 1999–2003), who regarded Robinson as his mentor.

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. He later worked as a commentator and presenter on Cadena SER's El Larguero and then on the subscription channel Canal+, where he hosted the cult television show El día después for 14 years (1991–2005),[3] 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.

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."

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

In addition to his television career, 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.



  • 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. 


External links[edit]

Television programmes