Spain mourns Michael Robinson, the Liverpool striker turned TV legend

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Michael Robinson

Every major newspaper in Spain has devoted its front page to Michael Robinson, the former Liverpool striker turned award-winning broadcaster who has died at the age of 61.

Robinson grew up in Blackpool, where his parents owned a boarding house, and came through the ranks at Preston North End before signing for Manchester City and then Liverpool.

After finishing his playing career at the Spanish side Osasuna, the Republic of Ireland international became presenter of the football highlights show ‘The Day After’, and was described as "the Des Lynam of Spanish TV" by former Liverpool team-mate Mark Lawrenson.

Robinson was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in December 2018 and yesterday his death was announced via his Twitter account.

"With tremendous sadness we tell you about Michael's passing,” “it read. “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."

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Today, all the major newspapers devoted their front pages to the star, despite the coronavirus pandemic having dominated headlines for several weeks before.

Marca titled theirs 'The Day After,' the name of the pioneering football highlights show Robinson presented for 15 years. Diario AS went simply with: 'Michael Robinson, You'll Never Walk Alone'.

Sports titles Diario AS, Sport, Mundo Deportivo and Marca all dedicated front pages to a man Marca said had 'left an indelible mark on football and on Spanish television'.

His former Liverpool teammate, Mark Lawrenson, said: “I used to call him ‘the wall’. He was very good at holding the ball up and causing defenders all sorts of problems – they couldn’t have a moment’s peace against him. Then he turned himself into the Des Lynam of Spanish football. It’s a sad day.”

On Twitter, tennis player Rafael Nadal posted a picture of himself alongside Robinson, calling him “one of our own … one who always made us happy about sport. We are grateful. People like him are very necessary in this world.”

Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres, Dani Ceballos and Jamie Carragher have all posted tributes, with Andrés Iniesta tweeting: “Rest in peace, Michael. What mornings, afternoons and nights we have spent with you ... We will miss you.”

Graeme Souness told Sky Sports’ Football Show: “He was a close pal of mine and I’m absolutely sick for his family. It’s a sad day for me. I’ve tried to ring him a couple of times in the last couple of weeks and Michael’s a very emotional man and he wouldn’t pick up the phone any more to me.

“It was only last night where I was thinking: ‘I’m going to try him and try him till I get him.’ I thought: ‘I won’t ring him now because he may be in his bed having an early night,’ and I was going to ring him today. And I’ve not got a chance to speak to him.”