Former Liverpool chief executive Peter Robinson dies aged 86
Former Liverpool chief executive Peter Robinson has died aged 86.
Robinson presided over business at Anfield for nearly four decades, which included the managerial reigns of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier.
The highly respected Robinson helped transform an underachieving club into the most powerful on the continent throughout the 1970s and 1980s as the Reds won four European Cups.
By the time he resigned in 2000, the club had won 29 major trophies, including a dozen league championships.
In a statement confirming the death on their official website, Liverpool FC said: “Robinson was a key behind-the-scenes figure at Anfield throughout a 35-year period, which began shortly before the first triumph of the Reds in the FA Cup in 1965, when he joined the club as secretary after working at Stockport County, Crewe Alexandra, Scunthorpe United and Brighton & Hove Albion.
“In close and constructive partnership with Chairman John Smith, he oversaw a modernization of the club’s administrative operations with the aim of freeing up managers to focus on their top priority: winning on the pitch.
“He and Smith were closely involved in player recruitment at a time when the Reds were repeatedly pulling off masterstrokes in the transfer market.
“And the pair pushed ahead with improvements at Anfield, including a new main stand and floodlighting – under which so many special nights would take place – in the early 1970s.
“It’s a setup that has delivered overwhelming success as Liverpool have become a dominant force – and a trophy-collecting machine – first at home and then on the continent.”
Robinson was one of the masterminds behind the first such shirt sponsorship deal when Liverpool agreed to a deal with Hitachi in what was seen as a groundbreaking move in 1979.
The two-year deal was worth around £100,000 and allowed the Reds to wear the brand name on their shirts in non-televised matches.
Alongside then-manager Dalglish, the chief executive was a key figure at the club as it tried to navigate the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989.
It was said to be his decision to open Anfield in the days following the tragedy to allow fans to pay their respects to those who died.
Robinson made the decision to leave in 1999, having previously said: “I had the opportunity to work away from Liverpool Football Club but I certainly never wanted to.”
His passing was confirmed by football author John Keith on Wednesday morning in a tweet, saying: “Very sad to hear of the passing of this wonderful football administrator Peter Robinson, a key figure in Liverpool FC’s rise to become the club it is today. RIP Pierre.”
Liverpool’s official statistician Ged Rea said: “Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of English football’s greatest administrators and a man who will sit comfortably at the table of legends at Liverpool FC. Peter Robinson RIP.YNWA.”