Liverpool's former Republic of Ireland striker Michael Robinson, who became a well-known commentator in Spain, has died aged 61, his family announced on Tuesday, prompting an outpouring of tributes.
Robinson, who settled in Spain after his playing career and had an award-winning media career, succumbed to cancer that was first diagnosed in 2018. He passed away at his home in Marbella.
"With tremendous sadness, we inform you of Michael’s death," his family announced on Twitter.
"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."
After spells with Preston North End and Manchester City Robinson featured in the 1983 FA Cup final for Brighton, before moving to Anfield.
He was part of the Liverpool squad that captured the league, League Cup and European Cup treble in 1984.
"We’re deeply saddened by the passing of former player Michael Robinson, aged 61," Liverpool tweeted.
"The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Michael’s family and friends at this sad time. Rest in peace, Michael."
After Liverpool, Robinson joined Queens Park Rangers, before ending his career with Spanish side Osasuna.
A second career
He retired in 1989 but remained in Spain, mastering the Spanish language and becoming one of the country's most distinguished football pundits.
According to Spanish daily El Pais, Robinson "revolutionised the way football was analysed".
Barcelona said in a statement he was "a person who loved football and who knew how to explain it with knowledge and ingenuity".
Real Madrid also expressed their "deep condolences" for a player they described as "a legend".
"After his retirement from soccer, he dedicated his professional life to sports journalism, where his work on television, radio and in the written press stood out, earning the affection of all soccer and sports fans in general," the club added.
Liverpool's 2005 Champions League winner Luis Garcia tweeted: "R.I.P Michael Robinson. The Liverpool legend that got in all the Spanish homes with his fantastic commentaries every Weekend !! #YNWA."
One of Robinson's fans was Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
"He was with us on thousands of afternoons of football, recounting incredible anecdotes, and showing us a way of life beyond football," said Sanchez.
"Thank you Michael Robinson. We will miss you. You'll never walk alone."
In a sign of the mark he had made on Spanish society, the Madrid Municipal Police tweeted their own tribute.
"We join in the condolences to the family, friends and all those whom he leaves bereft of his talent. A sporting, journalistic and human reference. Rest in peace," the capital's police force said.
Retired Spanish Formula One driver Pedro de la Rosa said: "I will never forget how much he liked to talk about F1, mesmerising you with his stories. RIP."
The Football Association of Ireland in its tribute to Leicester-born Robinson said: "The FAI is saddened to learn of the death of former Ireland international Michael Robinson. Michael played 24 games at senior level, scoring four goals during the 1980s. May he rest in peace."
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / Liverpool FC