Liverpool Football Club paid its respects yesterday to another man instrumental in helping them become the dominant force in English and European football.
Born in 1935, Peter Robinson joined the club as club secretary in 1965, moving to chief executive in 1992. By the time he retired in 2000 heâ€™d overseen the winning 29 major trophies, including 12 league titles and four European Cups.
Prior to Liverpool heâ€™d held similar roles at Stockport County, Crewe Alexandra, Scunthorpe United and Brighton & Hove Albion. By the time he arrived at Anfield Liverpool had just won their first FA Cup, a year after their first league title for 17 years.
He became one of the most respected administrators in the game, and ensured the clubâ€™s off-field activities were ran with precision.
Once John Smith was appointed Chairman in 1973 the pair modernised the club internally. They oversaw the redevelopment of Anfield and the construction of a new academy at Kirkby.
In the early 1970â€™s they pushed through improvements to the ground including a new Main Stand and floodlighting. Soon the legend of â€˜big European nightsâ€™ under lights began to emerge.
â€˜PBRâ€™, as he was affectionately known at Anfield, and Smith had a main objective of dealing quietly with the administration behind the scenes, so that the team manager was free to focus on success on the pitch.
The pair were closely involved in recruitment, attracting a number of significant players who went onto become club legends as the silverware poured in.
The likes of Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Ray Clemence, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and John Barnes all came on the back of managersâ€™ recommendation and PBR and Smith made sure the deals were struck.
The relationship between manager and boardroom was crucial in the bringing success to the club. Going about their business quietly and methodically and with the minimum of fuss. They developed a highly successful relationship with Bill Shankly through to Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish and Roy Evans. Robinson was involved in all their appointments.
When Shankly was in charge, his backroom staff was Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans. They all subsequently followed him into the managerâ€™s hotseat, ensuring a continuity of style and play unrivalled anywhere else.
Smith and Robinson had a belief their job was to handle things in their own quiet way, out of sight behind the scenes. There was no question of â€˜airing their dirty laundry in publicâ€™. That was not the â€˜Liverpool wayâ€™. For many of us fans who grew up watching the clubâ€™s success during the seventies and eighties we have only found out what really went on through the memoirs of those involved.
For example, consider the farce which engulfed the club when the two cowboys from Texas, Gillet and Hicks were in control. That sort of thing would never have happened during Smith and Robinsonâ€™s time. You just wouldnâ€™t have heard about it.
He was friends with Gerard Houllier and key in bringing the Frenchman to the club in 1998. Houllier was considering offers from Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday when Robinson called him to invite him to Anfield. The rest is history.
Peter took up the position of chief executive in 1992. He was influential in sealing the first ever shirt sponsorship deal, with Hitachi, and negotiating television rights deals.
The transfer which gave him most pleasure was when they broke the British transfer record signing Kenny Dalglish for Â£440,000 from Celtic in 1977. He told the Daily Mail in 2011
â€œSigning Kenny was one of the best pieces of business we did during my time at Liverpool but there was an element of good fortune about it. We had kept our promise to Kevin Keegan to let him move abroad in 1977 but we had not found a direct replacement.
While we were discussing a number of options, I took a rare afternoon off and went to watch Lancashire play cricket at Southport. I bumped into a journalist from the Daily Mail, who I knew well, and he assured me that Kenny wanted to come to England.
I spoke with Bob Paisley and, fortunately, I had a good relationship with Celticâ€™s then chairman and we agreed a fee for Kenny over the phone. He turned out to be an absolutely outstanding player and just as good a manager.â€
Not one to seek the limelight, Robinson became one of the most respected and admired people in sport.
In a statement, Liverpool said;
â€œWe 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.â€
Since the club announced his death hundreds of messages of condolence and appreciation have been posted on social media.
â€œPeter Robinson was the focal point in the development of Liverpool FC. He made decisions that shaped the club and we simply wouldnâ€™t have enjoyed as many successes without his massive influence. PBR â€“ thank you for everything youâ€™ve done for me, youâ€™ll be sorely missed. Kennyâ€ -Kenny Dalglish
â€œIn memory of Peter Robinson, one of LFCâ€™s finest. Thank you for everythingâ€ â€“ Liverpool FC
â€œSuch sad news about the passing of Peter Robinson, he was a behind the scenes legend in how he run the club. Every UK team sought his advice about all things Euro football. RIP Peterâ€ â€“ Phil Thompson
â€œOne of the most important figures in LFC success over many years. RIP PBRâ€ â€“ Jamie Carragher.
â€œSad news indeed, a special man left us. LFC wouldnâ€™t be where they are now if it wasnâ€™t for him. Heâ€™ll be badly missed.â€ â€“ Didi Hamann.
â€œSad to hear of the passing of LFC club secretary and chief executive Peter Robinson, I know my dad
had a lot of time for Peter who helped him a lot over the years with admin etc. Rest in Peace Peterâ€ â€“ Paul Moran (son of Ronnie Moran)
â€œRIP Peter Robinson â€“ former Chief Executive of Liverpool FC. A true gent & outstanding administrator. Big cricket fan also. A man ahead of his timeâ€ â€“ Mark Lawrenson
â€œSaddened to hear of the death of former Liverpool chief executive, Peter Robinson. Quietly brilliant in the wings, he knew to let the men in tracksuits get on with weaving their magic. Shankly for one loved him for that. Also a huge help to this once young writer. RIP PBRâ€ â€“ Leo Moynihan
â€œPeter Robinson along with his chairman, Sir John Smith, were the duo that made Liverpool FC great. Virtually impeccable decision making including the appointment of managers over two decades. He dealt with the clubâ€™s finances and the press too!â€ â€“ Graham Beecroft.
â€œSad to hear of the passing of Peter Robinson. This really is the end of an era. I was a Kopite when he took over in 1965 and I owe my 50 years working at Anfield entirely to him. Liverpool fans are in debt to him for the club they have today. RIP PBRâ€ â€“ George Sephton (Voice of Anfield)