Football | Former Republic of Ireland international Michael Robinson passes away

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Former Republic of Ireland international Michael Robinson has passed away at the age of 61 in Madrid following a battle with cancer.

Robinson, who scored four goals in 24 appearances for the Boys in Green between 1980 and 1986, revealed he had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in December 2018.

“With tremendous sadness we tell you about Michael’s passing,” read a tweet from Robinson’s official Twitter account.

“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.”

The Leicester-born striker represented Liverpool, Preston, Manchester City, Brighton, Queens Park Rangers and Osasuna during a successful club career.

Robinson spent the 1983-84 at Anfield, winning a league title, European Cup and League Cup in his solitary season on Merseyside. He scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for Liverpool under manager Joe Fagan.

After retiring at Osasuna in 1989, Robinson established himself as a successful sports commentator in Spain, winning the 2018 Vazquez Montalban International Journalism Award.

‘Robín’, as he was known in Spain, pioneered the Canal Plus magazine show El Día Después (The Day After), and enjoyed cult status in the country.

Tributes have poured in for the former Ireland forward, with clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid – and stars including Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia and Rafael Nadal – taking to social media to commemorate Robinson’s life.

Mark Lawrenson, who played with Robinson for both club and country, praised Robinson’s role in the Reds’ treble in the ’83/84 season.

“Robbo was such a whole-hearted player,” he told Liverpool’s official website.

“He would give you absolutely everything and he wouldn’t try to do things that he couldn’t. He wasn’t a Rush or a Dalglish, he was Michael Robinson, and he played a big part for us during that treble season.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish also paid tribute to Robinson.

“I am deeply saddened by the news that Michael has passed away and my sympathies go out to his wife Chris and their two children, Liam and Aimee,” he said.

“First and foremost, Michael was a good teammate to every one of us and he made an important contribution on and off the pitch, none more so than during the 1983-84 season when we were fortunate enough to win three trophies.

“He will be remembered with fondness and affection. May he rest in peace.”

Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas also took time to bid farewell to Robinson.

“Goodbye friend, it was a pleasure to share so many moments with you. You leave a big mark.”

Former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas also posted a heartfelt message on Twitter.

“Today leaves us a great person with a heart of gold. You leave without a doubt a great emptiness in the professional but more in the personal. We will miss you a lot. Rest in peace, friend.”