Robbo: A giant among men

HUNDREDS of friends and fellow sportsmen were saying farewell today to Richard Robinson, a giant of a man both on and off the field of play.The 51-year-old Suffolk sportsman lost his battle for life but the 300-plus mourners attending his funeral proved he was a winner of their respect, love and admiration.

By Tracey Sparling

HUNDREDS of friends and fellow sportsmen were saying farewell today to Richard Robinson, a giant of a man both on and off the field of play.

The 51-year-old Suffolk sportsman lost his battle for life but the 300-plus mourners attending his funeral proved he was a winner of their respect, love and admiration.

Robbo, as he was popularly known, was a fearsome pace bowler and hard-hitting batsman.


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He was also a loving husband, father, son and family man who devoted his last months to doing even more jobs around the home and enjoying life.

For the last 18 months, Richard had been treated for cancer but after suffering a stroke he was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he died on March 20.

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Today his wife Lynn and their sons James and Philip led the throng of mourners at his funeral service at All Hallows Church in Ipswich.

Roz Leggett, parish assistant at the church was conducting the service.

She said: "My words are about his personal qualities as a husband, dad and son - a loving, caring, well-respected man. He respected traditional family values and was the mainstay in his family.

"He was a solid rock to his wife and sons as they grew up and a gentle giant of a man. It is a great privilege to act as a bridge between his life here on earth and another life with our heavenly father."

Richard scored more than 2,800runs and took 192 wickets for Suffolk and for the past 23 years had been a member of Brown's cricket club in Ipswich.

He was first team captain for several years and only stood down at the end of the 2000 season due to illness.

Browns president Keith Croton commended him as an outstanding sportsman at both football and cricket, and said he would be sadly missed not just in Suffolk but Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

SUFFOLK sportsman Richard Robinson made his county cricket debut in 1968, while still captain of Suffolk Colts and played in almost 150 matches.

He scored a total of 2,811 runs and took 192 wickets.

Playing in two three-day matches for Warwickshire seconds he scored a trademark half-century in one of them but was not offered a contract.

He played cricket for Cranes, Ransomes, Saxmundham and Achilles, before joining Browns in 1979 and was the first team captain on several occasions.

The latest spell ended when he resigned due to illness at the end of the 2000 season, but his loyalty to the club was without question.

Richard was also one of the rare footballers who was just as much at home in goal as on the field. He signed for Stowmarket while in his teens and played in goal, but it was while he was with Clacton that he made a name for himself.

He was a lynchpin in the Clacton side for years, winning the Jewson League Cup with the Essex side in 1974. Richard also played cricket for Clacton when they were proud members of the Southern League.

His senior career ended with him play for Felixstowe as a goalkeeper.

On Sundays he played for Parkside and AF Knights in the Gippeswyk Sunday League.

Parkside was full of top players from the Ipswich area, and they won every Sunday trophy. Robbo was the first member of their triumphant side to pass away.

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