TRIBUTES have been made from across the north east following the death of former Ashington footballer Barry ‘Badger’ Robinson, aged 62.
Robinson played for the Colliers under manager Ken Prior in the 1968-69 season and again when Jack Marks was in charge.
He then had a two-year stint at Tow Law under Peter Feenan’s managership before moving onto Blue Star.
He returned to Ashington along with Bobby Graham when Cec Irwin was team chief, but at the Easter period of the 1977-78 season went back to Blue Star.
The successful Wheatsheaf outfit were on the road to Wembley via the FA Vase, but although Barry played in both legs of the semi-final, he did not make the party for they beat Barton Rovers 2-1 at the old Wembley.
Barry returned to Ashington to play under Chick Charlton and ended his career with him at Alnwick.
He also played for Northumberland when they won the England County Cup at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane and later represented Marden Residents in the over 40’s league.
Nicknamed ‘Badger’, Barry was part of the hugely successful Sunday morning side Newbiggin Dolphin, who operated in the Blyth & Wansbeck League and who won the first division title on no fewer than 11 times as well as numerous cups.
He eventually stepped into the managerial seat with the Dolphin, taking over from Bobby Graham in 1982-83.
Graham said: “Barry was a very loyal friend and liked by everyone. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.
“He had a dry sense of humour and was proud of his two sons, Ian and Barry.
“There was a marvellous turn out at his funeral at St Bartholomew’s Church in Newbiggin, with mourners standing at the back of a packed church and others outside, and apart from a couple of players and manager Peter Feenan, who lives abroad, the whole of the 1978 Blue Star Vase winning side were in attendance, which speaks volumes and is testimony to how highly thought of Barry was.
“Barry was a great friend and it is a sad loss.”
Ken Prior said: “I could say a lot about Barry. I signed him on a Sunday morning at his father’s pub and he was one of the best young signings I made.
“Barry got into the side when Jackie Herron was injured and when Jackie came back, I couldn’t leave Barry out so I moved Jackie to centre half.
“Barry was a super lad who was always at training and his punctuality was top notch.
“He was an exceptionally good young player and I enjoyed the time I had with him. He was a gentleman.”
Barry leaves a wife Pauline and sons Ian and Barry.
Marks said: “Barry was a nice lad and a good footballer. He trained hard and played well and I never had any problems with him in the dressing room.”
Charlton said: “Barry was a good player and he took some signing luring him from Blue Star to Ashington.
“It was a pleasure to be manager when he was in the dressing room and he always gave 100 per cent.”
Paul Dixon, a member of the 1978 Blue Star side, said: “I played with Barry for four to five years at Blue Star.
“He was a terrific defender who had pace at the back and who read the game superbly.
“Barry was a great team player and a great ambassador for north east non league football.
“I was extremely sad to hear of his death.
“His close mate Tommy Connell spoke from the heart about a great friend in his homily and it was a fantastic funeral service.”