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Souness in poignant tribute to 'close pal'

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Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness paid a poignant tribute to "close pal" Michael Robinson, the former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland striker who has died aged 61.

Robinson revealed in December 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma and a tweet from his Twitter account yesterday morning confirmed his death.

"With tremendous sadness we tell you about Michael's passing," the tweet said. "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."

After earlier stints with Preston, Manchester City and Brighton, Robinson moved to Merseyside and helped Liverpool to glory in the European Cup, First Division and League Cup in 1983/84, his only season with the Reds.

Despite moving on to QPR and then Osasuna, remaining in Spain at the end of his playing career and going on to forge himself as a formidable broadcaster, he clearly left a massive impression at Liverpool and on Souness.

In a touching interview on the Football Show on Sky Sports, the Scot said: "He was a close pal of mine and I'm absolutely sick for his family. It's a sad day.

"My friendship started with him when he first joined Liverpool, we used to go to the Top Hat on a Thursday night for dinner, his wife and my wife as well, then we became great pals at Liverpool.

"He wasn't a superstar but he more than helped us in that year we managed to do the Treble, he played a big part in that, and he was good round the place, he was very popular.

Souness recalled one tale that demonstrated how highly Robinson was regarded in Spain.

"I can remember him phoning me up once. He'd been out to lunch with Seve Ballesteros and he was walking down the street in Madrid. Half a dozen asked him for an autograph and only one asked Seve. He was rejoicing in that."