Peter Robinson, Liverpool’s influential former club secretary, dies aged 86

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: ANL/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: ANL/Shutterstock
  • Club won 29 trophies during his 35 years at Anfield

  • He helped transform Liverpool into dominant force


Peter Robinson, the former Liverpool club secretary who played an instrumental role in the club’s rise under Bill Shankly and beyond, has died aged 86.

“PBR”, as he was affectionately known at Anfield, was regarded as one of the finest administrators in the game over a 35-year career at Liverpool. His decision-making, innovations, transfer dealings and relationships with several managers helped transform the club into a dominant force in England and Europe.

Robinson joined Liverpool in 1965 after jobs at Stockport County, Crewe, Brighton and Scunthorpe. By the time he retired in 2000, having taken on the chief executive role in 1992, the club had amassed 29 major trophies on his watch, including four European Cups and 12 league championships.

Peter Robinson at a Liverpool kit launch in June 1996.
Peter Robinson at a Liverpool kit launch in June 1996. Photograph: PA Images/Alamy

Alongside the chairman John Smith, Robinson modernised Liverpool internally and oversaw the redevelopment of Anfield and the construction of a new academy at Kirkby, which has since extended to become the first team’s training ground.

More importantly, his highly successful working relationship with Shankly helped elevate Liverpool to a glittering era sustained under Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish. Robinson was involved in all of their appointments and behind many of the most important transfers in Liverpool’s history, and his tenure also covered the managerial careers of Graeme Souness, Roy Evans and Gérard Houllier. Houllier was considering offers from Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday when Robinson called on the pretext of congratulating him on the new role, and invited him to Liverpool instead.

Several former Liverpool players paid tribute to Robinson on Wednesday. Jamie Carragher tweeted: “One of the most important figures in LFC success over many years. RIP PBR.” Dietmar Hamann, who played for the club from 1999-2006, tweeted: “Sad news indeed, a special man left us. LFC wouldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for him. He’ll be badly missed.” Jan Molby wrote: “LFC won 29 major trophies whilst Peter was pulling the strings upstairs. RIP Peter Robinson YNWA.”

Liverpool said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of former club secretary and chief executive Peter Robinson. The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool FC are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

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