May 13, 1939
The death took place on Saturday of Mr. Alf Robinson, of Westbourne Road, West Hartlepool, the former Carlisle, Sunderland, and Sheffield United centre-forward, and a sportsman of note in the Hartlepools. He was 55.
His long and active association with football began in West Hartlepool, when, in season 1903-04, he joined he Stranton Parish Church team, and he was a member of this side when it won the Bennison Cup.
Later he joined West Amateurs, and in 1904-05 led the side against Clapton at Shepherd’s Bush in the final of the English Amateur Cup.
Following a series of successes, Mr. Robinson turned professional and was signed by Sunderland. In the same season he was transferred to Stockport, where he joined two colleagues of his amateur days, the Hegarty brothers.
After two seasons with Stockport he went to Carlisle, which team then played in the Lancashire Combination. Eventually he captained the side and led Carlisle when they reached the second round of the English Cup. His record with the Border team was an impressive one, for in one season he scored 36 goals and brought off the “hat trick” on five occasions.
Returned to North-East.
Some weeks ago a “Mail” reporter had an interview with Mr. Robinson, when it was recorded that when a certain firm of clothiers offered to present an overcoat to players scoring two goals in a match, Mr. Robinson was able to claim a dozen.
He was transferred to Sheffield United at a fee of £200, and after two seasons returned to the North-East via Spennymoor.
During the war Mr. Robinson was working at Irving’s Harbour Dockyard when he was concerned in an accident, and two toes of his right foot were amputated. But his interest in football was ever present, and he took to following the fortunes of Hartlepools United with his usual keenness. One of Mr. Robinson’s sayings was that modern football was prone to rely too much on speed and long passing, and fell much short of the standards of the older generation of players.
Mr. Robinson was a plumber by trade, and local branch secretary of the Operative Plumbers at the time of his death.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at Stranton Church.
(Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail: May 15, 1939)