Tribute to Frank Robinson, champion of grassroots football in Wirral

 

Frank Robinson, champion of grassroots football in Wirral, has passed away on 22 December 2021 at Arrowe Park Hospital.

Frank devoted many years to football and was a Life Member of both Cheshire FA and Wirral District FA, President of Wirral District FA and Life Vice President of the Birkenhead Sunday League having served several years as League Secretary.

Frank Robinson attended a School that was renowned for football, none other than St Hugh’s – more commonly known as The Yozzers. Like most lads from Birkenhead Frank was no different with a love of football. He was one of those lucky people to attend Wembley Stadium amongst the 96,924 to witness England’s one and only World Cup triumph on 30 July 1966.

Frank was Secretary of a Sunday League Team Livingstone Stag. He was co-opted on to the Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League in 1968 as the League’s first Press Secretary.

A couple of years later he was doing such a good job of writing two columns a week, that local clubs thought he was the right man to take the Birkenhead Sunday League forward and at the age of 29 he was elected as the new Hon General Secretary.

Frank worked tirelessly, often burning the midnight oil, always eager to promote the league and get Sunday football more recognised at District, County and National Levels. Frank virtually rewrote the Birkenhead Sunday League Rule book and it was a model Hand/Rule book. Cheshire County Football Association were so impressed with it as they have to sanction it for every new season with Youth Football In mind. In 1976 Frank introduced a Youth Division into the Birkenhead Sunday League.

When Wirral District Football Association came calling, he stood down as Hon League Secretary to take the position of Wirral Hon Assistant/Competitions Secretary, eventually becoming Hon General Secretary.

While he was at Wirral DFA, he held vital roles in the Birkenhead Sunday League as Chairman and President. While at Wirral FA, Frank also had key roles with Cheshire County FA, the most prominent roles were Competitions Secretary and Board Member.

He also did the Leagues printing with their own ‘’In House Copying Service’’ bringing in many funds from other football and sporting organisations to keep league fees as low as possible.

For the 1984/85 season, Frank was again at the forefront securing the Birkenhead League’s first-ever sponsorship with Smith and Son. Fast forward to the 1993/94 season and Frank played another huge part in securing a new League sponsor for three seasons that was then extended and is currently in its 29th season with Houlihan’s Variety Club in Claughton Village.

In 2018 Frank completed fifty seasons in Amateur Football and decided to retire from the position of Hon Secretary of Wirral District FA. He accepted the mantle of President; his proudest moment was when Avenue lifted The FA National Sunday Cup at the town’s professional football club Tranmere Rovers.

He was also known as ‘Mr Encyclopedia’ of amateur football right throughout the Wirral and Cheshire County. If you happened to be in his company, it was like having a history lesson for local football.

Frank certainly left a legacy in Football Administration with many people aiming to keep up with his extremely ambitious standards.

Image: Frank Robinson receiving his long service award from Cheshire County Football Association.

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