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A-Z of West Midlands Football

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

By Tony Matthews

  • Carl Robinson

  • Dave Robinson – nine years with Birmingham City

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BILL ROBERTSON was a very efficient left-half or inside-right who scored 15 goals in 103 appearances for Birmingham in two spells with the club: February 1896-April 1899 and July 1902-May 1903.In between times he assisted Eastville Rovers (Bristol).

Born in Pontypool, Monmouthshire, South Wales in the summer of 1873, Bill played initially for Abercorn FC and in 1898 scored a hat-trick from the left-half position for Blues against Luton Town in a League game. Ending his career with Bristol Rovers in 1904, it is believed he died in 1967.

GEORGE ROBERTSON could occupy both wing-half positions as well as the three central forward positions.

Born in Glasgow in 1883, he was first spotted playing for Rutherglen Glencairn and was signed by Clyde in 1901. He then assisted Glasgow Rangers, returned to Clyde, served with Blackburn Rovers (season 1902-03) and had a third spell with Clyde before joining Blues in December 1910.

He scored 17 goals in 87 appearances over the next three-and-half-years and on leaving St Andrew's teamed up with Bloxwich Strollers before ending his career with Brierley Hill Alliance in 1922. George died circa 1965.

ARTHUR 'NAT' ROBINSON made 306 appearances in goal for Birmingham between August 1898 and July 1908.

Born in Coventry in February 1878, he played for Allesley FC, Coventry Stars and Singers FC before joining Blues, whom he helped gain promotion to the First Division in 1901 and 1903, while also representing the football League and playing in two international trials for England.

'Nat' always wore two jerseys, no matter what the weather, and he used to windmill his arms around like catherine wheels when attackers were bearing down on his goal. He was a real character, a huge favourite with the fans, who spent two seasons with Chelsea and just one with Coventry City (1910-11) before retiring to run the Red House Inn on Barrass Green, Coventry. He died in Coventry in May 1929, aged 51.

CARL ROBINSON was a competitive midfielder whose career spanned 16 years.

Born in Llandrindod Wells, Wales in October 1976, he was a junior with Shrewsbury Town before joining Wolves as an apprentice in 1993 and turning professional in July 1995. He actually made his Football League debut as a loan player with Shrewsbury Town in March 1996 before returning to Molineux where he remained until July 2002 – having made 191 senior appearances and scoring 23 goals for Wolves.

His next club, Portsmouth, signed him on a Bosman Ruling, but he never settled at Fratton Park and, in fact, between January 2003 and March 2004 he was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday, Walsall (11 appearances), Rotherham United, Sheffield United and Sunderland, eventually joining the latter club on a permanent basis in June 2004.

On loan to Norwich City from November-December 2005, he signed for the Canaries in January 2006, remained at Carrow Road until May 2008, then moved to Canada, linking up with the MSL club Toronto as player/assistant-manager.

He switched to New York Red Bulls in March 2010 and took over as manager when he retired as a player in 2013.

The recipient of four youth, six U21, two 'B' and 39 full caps for Wales, he gained a FL Trophy runner's-up medal with Shrewsbury in 1996, won the Division One title with Portsmouth in 2003 and the Championship with Sunderland in 2005. He was a Canada League title winner with Toronto in 2009. His playing career realised almost 500 appearances, 365 with his English clubs

COLIN ROBINSON was a swarthy, bearded versatile forward who played for Birmingham City between January 1988 and August 1989, during which time he scored six goals in 42 first-class appearances.

Born in the city in May 1960, he played initially for Mile Oak Rovers before joining Shrewsbury Town as a professional in November 1982.

After leaving St Andrew's he signed for Hereford United, later serving with Worcester City, Bridgnorth Town, Halesowen Town and Shifnal Town. He gained a Welsh Cup winner's medal with Shrewsbury in 1984.

DAVE 'SUGAR' ROBINSON spent nine years with Birmingham City – June 1964 to February 1973 – during which time he scored four goals in 127 first-class appearances as a central defender.

Born in Bartley Green, Birmingham in July 1948, he attended and played for Woodgate Valley Junior and Bartley Green senior schools and represented Birmingham & District and Warwickshire Schools and was an England schoolboy trialist before becoming a 'Beau Brummie'.

On leaving St Andrew's, Dave – nicknamed Sugar after the former World Champion boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson - signed for Walsall with whom he stayed for four years, adding a further 183 appearances to his tally.

Thereafter he managed Chelmsley Town (albeit briefly), played non-League football for Tamworth (seasons 1978-80) and acted as boss of Oldbury United to May 1982.

When Dave was recruited as a professional at St Andrew's, Blues' manager Stan Cullis said: "He's saved us £80,000."

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