Michael Robinson and Bruce Grobelaar, 1984 European Cup final (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

European Cup winner Michael Robinson passes away aged 61

Former Liverpool striker Michael Robinson, who won the European Cup with the club in his only season at Anfield in 1983/84, has passed away at the age of 61.

Robinson announced in December 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma, with doctors telling him it had “no cure.”

After a long battle with cancer Robinson passed away this week, with the 61-year-old’s Twitter account confirming the news on Tuesday morning.

“With tremendous sadness we inform you of Michael’s death,” the statement reads.

“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 joined Liverpool from Brighton in 1983, and scored 13 goals in 52 games before leaving for QPR the following summer, having won the First Division, European Cup and League Cup.

His goals included a brace in a 5-0 win over Odense in the first round of the European Cup, and a hat-trick to seal a 3-1 victory at West Ham in the league, as he operated with the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush in attack.

After two seasons with QPR, Robinson made the switch to Osasuna and retired in 1989 to remain in Spain, where he became renowned for his work as a commentator.

Speaking to Simon Hughes as part of the book Red Machine: Liverpool FC In The ’80s: The Players’ Stories, he told the story of how he came to settle in a new country.

“I came over on January 7, 1987. I didn’t know whether I was going to be here forever,” he explained.

“What I did know was that I was going to receive an education—an education that I wanted.

“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, so much so that when I was 36 or 37 I said to my mum, ‘about 36 years ago, you didn’t bump into a Spaniard, did you?’.

“She slapped me for that.”

Robinson was known for his humour, intellect and his way with words, and speaking to Sky Sports after his passing, the striker’s captain at Liverpool, Graeme Souness, paid tribute.

“He was a big pal of mine. I’ve got so many fond memories of being in his company,” he said.

“If you were going on a night out, Michael would be the first one you’d invite; a real charming man, bon viveur, could tell great stories.”

Souness told a story of how Robinson went for lunch with Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros in Madrid, and “half-a-dozen people stopped and asked him for an autograph, and only one asked Seve—so he was rejoicing in that.”

There is affection for Robinson both in England and Spain, as tributes to the late European Cup winner on Tuesday morning showed, including from the likes of Xabi Alonso, Ray Clemence and Mark Lawrenson:

Rest in peace, Michael Robinson.