Mark Lawrenson has paid special tribute to Michael Robinson after the former Liverpool striker passed away at the age of 61.

Lawrenson and Robinson were teammates for club and country and shared similar career paths before coming together at Anfield.

"It's extremely sad," Lawrenson told Liverpoolfc.com. "Me and Michael go back a long, long way.

"I first came across Michael when he was playing for Blackpool Cricket Club against my cricket club in Preston. I actually got him out one day and I never let him forget that!

"It's quite a funny story actually that Michael seemed to follow me around wherever I played.

"I signed for Preston and Michael did too. I then went to Brighton and after he had a spell at Manchester City he also came to Brighton - and at the same time he declared to play for the Republic of Ireland so we also became international teammates.

"I remember at Liverpool one day when Joe Fagan asked me for a word in pre-season. I think we were in Switzerland and he said, 'Do you know Michael Robinson?' I said, 'Yes, because he's followed me wherever I have been.'

"Joe said, 'Well, he's followed you again because we've just signed him!'

"We used to call him the 'Cat' in the dressing room at Anfield because he was light on his feet, that typical dressing room humour, and he absolutely loved it and was one of the lads."

Robinson scored 12 goals during his first season as Liverpool clinched an historic treble of the league championship, Milk Cup and European Cup.

And Lawrenson explained the influence the striker had throughout a famous campaign for the club.

"Robbo was such a whole-hearted player," he continued.

"He would give you absolutely everything and he wouldn't try to do things that he couldn't.

"He wasn't a Rush or a Dalglish, he was Michael Robinson, and he played a big part for us during that treble season.

"I used to call him 'the wall'. What he was very good at was holding the ball up and causing central defenders all sorts of problems. They couldn't have a moment's peace against him and he always played to his strengths.

"If you asked Rushie or Kenny, they appreciated the fact that he would hold the ball up extremely well and move the team up the pitch. It got us out of our half and into the opposition half so we could pressure them."

Robinson's playing career eventually ended in Spain with Osasuna.

He stayed there after his retirement and became a hugely popular television commentator, pundit and presenter across the nation.

"Michael was always a really good speaker and had a really good education, and he basically turned himself into the Des Lynam of Spanish football," added Lawrenson.

"When he started, his Spanish wasn't brilliant but people found it funny because at first he got one or two of the words mixed up and the fans loved it.

"They were like, 'Good on you for doing this, you are learning the language' and he was very popular.

"It's just a sad day and 61 is far too early. He was just a great lad and it really was a shock when I heard the news this morning."

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