Preston North End is saddened to hear the news of the passing of 1979 player of the year Michael Robinson after a long and brave battle with illness.
Michael signed for the Lilywhites as an apprentice professional in the mid-1970’s having been spotted playing for Dolphinholme youth team.
He showed up well in North End’s youth and reserve teams at Deepdale, making his league debut at Cardiff City in April 1976.
However, Mick, as he was called at PNE, had to patiently wait until the 1978/79 season to win a regular spot in the team.
It was his unselfish powerful running, strength and enthusiasm that endeared him to the Deepdale faithful. He gelled well with Alex Bruce up front and his performances led to him being voted Preston North End’s Player of the Year that season.
What a season it was for him as football scouts had been checking his progress, but it was Manchester City who came calling with a huge £756,000 cheque, an offer North End could not turn down.
He was City’s leading goalscorer in his first season, a feat he repeated when he was transferred to Brighton & Hove Albion.
By 1983 the Irish international had joined Liverpool where he won league and European Cup winners medals.
After a spell with QPR he made a move that changed his life. He moved to Spain to play three seasons with Osasuna. He loved the Spanish lifestyle, learnt the language and became a huge name in the Spanish media on retiring from playing.
In 2018 he discovered that he had an incurable malignant melanoma and sadly Mick Robinson died today in Madrid, aged 61.
Speaking about Michael, Preston North End owner Mr Trevor Hemmings recalled very positive memories of the striker's spell with the club.
“Michael was a lovely young man who I met in the mid-1970s. He was extremely pleasant and well-mannered," he said.
“Malcolm Allison came to see him a number of times and we eventually sold him to Manchester City, but he was a very nice young man and it is very sad to hear the news of his passing.”
The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected to Preston North End go out to his family and friends.
Thank you to club historian Ian Rigby for the obituary.