Everton History A Final Farewell to Neil Robinson Last Monday, people came from far and wide to pay their final respects to former Toffee, Neil Robinson who passed away suddenly on 24 November, at just sixty-five years of age. Rob Sawyer and Mike Royden 17/12/2022 14comments | Jump to last On Monday 12 December 2022, people came from far and wide to pay their final respects to Neil Robinson. Neil, who made twenty-three first team appearances as a right-back for the Toffees between 1976 and 1979, had passed away suddenly on 24 November, at just sixty-five years of age. The ceremony, held at Widnes Crematorium on a bitterly cold afternoon, was so well-attended that many people had to stand outside, listening to the proceedings via the PA system. Those present included family, friends, former clubmates from Everton, plus representatives of Everton FC and Everton FC Heritage Society. A group of his former Swansea City team mates had made an eight hour round trip to pay their respects to their former colleague who they still held in such high regard. Fittingly, as he is still the first team player born closest to Goodison Park (on Spellow Lane), Neil’s coffin was conveyed to the service by a royal blue hearse, with Everton FC insignia. Inside the chapel, his daughters, Ali and Kat, recited a beautiful poem that Neil had written for his wife-to-be Pauline, in 1977. They wed in January 1978 and she always kept it safely in her purse. Keith Robinson gave a moving speech about his younger brother – adroitly mixing wit and warmth. He touched on his time as a footballer and recalled Neil turning vegetarian in 1970, to the shock of his mother, after seeing an animal sacrificially killed on TV. His father thought it was a two-day fad, but a decade later Neil became a vegan and never looked back (earning the nickname Bananaman when at Grimsby Town in the mid-1980s). Keith recalled how Neil spread the word about his beliefs, but not in a pushy way – a prime example being his completion of a long distance cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats, in an ashtonishing nine days, to highlight the benefits of a healthy vegan lifestyle. Article continues below video content Neil was also a talented composer and wrote and produced music under several monikers. But above all, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother. A tribute was read from Neil’s son, Neil Jr. before celebrant Bill Wooland picked up on the themes of a life well lived, by a loving man, who lived true to his principles. Afterwards, attendees retired to Parklands Social Club, to raise a toast to Neil and share anecdotes about how he had touched their lives for the better. His brother John produced and delivered a moving and often humourous presentation of images telling the story of Neil’s life, career and family, accompanied throughout with a soundtrack of several of his own compositions. You can read a full tribute to Neil on the Everton FC Heritage Society website, via this link: http://efcheritagesociety.com/neil-robinson-1957-2022/ Follow @@EvertonHeritage Share article: Reader Comments (14) Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer () Tony Everan 1 Posted 17/12/2022 at 19:29:48 Condolences to Neils family and friends. I have vague memories of him playing that season in the team when Bob Latchford scored his 30 goals. They were some of my first intoxicating trips to Goodison as a young boy. Oh for some of those goals now. RIP to a true blue. Will Mabon 2 Posted 17/12/2022 at 19:39:50 An early departure nowadays for someone that's lived an active physical life. RIP.That hearse is fantastic. Mike Gaynes 3 Posted 17/12/2022 at 20:12:52 Rob and Mike, thank you for your reporting.Anyone who wants a glimpse of what Mr Robinson was like in person should read Brian Viner's account of their interview in his book "Looking Up the Toffees". Mr Robinson recounts the hilarious story of his reaction to his only Everton goal -- tearing joyfully around the pitch while his enraged teammates ignored him. They were busy remonstrating with the referee for not giving a penalty, which Bob Latchford could have converted for his 30th goal of the season. Viner found him to be an absolutely delightful man. Peter Carpenter 4 Posted 17/12/2022 at 20:15:01 Great tribute on the Heritage Society website. I used to scrawl my team lists on schoolbooks, bits of paper, anything and there was a time when Neil was my first choice right-back. It's wonderful to see his contribution to Everton recognised alongside those who played more, scored more and won trophies. Don Alexander 5 Posted 17/12/2022 at 21:13:10 Another Toffee taken way too early. I remember him playing for us in the '70s downward spiral after Bally went to Arsenal. The '70s meant we saw all sorts of average, sometimes makeshift full-backs unfortunately. Glad he seems to have had a good career when he left and total respect for promoting his vegan beliefs, albeit I'm anything but.Never realised his elder brother was knighted for world-wide services to education. The Robinson family seem to me to have been special people.RIP Paul Washington 6 Posted 18/12/2022 at 06:53:26 I went to the funeral service.As the report says, it was a bitterly cold day and ended up outside with loads of others. I knew Neil when he had his gym in Widnes, he was a great bloke.God bless. Dave Abrahams 7 Posted 18/12/2022 at 14:08:31 A brilliant tribute to Neil from The Everton Heritage Society,Isaw Neil play for Blues a few times including the game versus Villa in the league cup final,it must have been hard to play in that game with his dad just very recently passing away.What comes through very clearly,reading about Neil, is what a very genuine and nice person he was but that might have come naturally to Neil as it seems all his family had the same nature.A very humble man and humility is hard to find these days especially when you have so much to be proud of in your life as Neil did.Condolences to all Neils lovely relations. Len Hawkins 8 Posted 18/12/2022 at 15:23:34 My memory is not too clever nowadays but we had so many full backs during the 70's early 80's until HK got a settled team. But he must have been a great person to know, the lovely tributes paid to him reinforce that.R.I.P. Seb Niemand 9 Posted 21/12/2022 at 20:41:38 Truly, a life well lived. George Stuart 10 Posted 22/12/2022 at 02:57:54 I had no idea Niel was related to Ken.Ken was a hero of mine for several years. His works are seminal and his renown was international.Ken used to drop subtle hints of the magnificence of the Royal Blue in his books. Specifically he mentioned his sister being educated in "the school" and still living in the shadow of the venerable old lady. His writing was extensive and he may have mentioned Niel elsewhere.Condolences to all. Jeff Armstrong 11 Posted 22/12/2022 at 08:54:52 Bit melancholy but theres a good article on BBC regarding sports people weve lost this year, some id forgotten, some I didnt know about, Earnie Shavers, Andy Lockhead, Steve Peplow etc, Neil gets a mention as does Ian Cockbain. Barry Shearer 12 Posted 23/12/2022 at 17:50:16 Thank you for reporting. The first time I saw a game at Goodison Park was on December 26, 1978 against Man City. We won 1-0. I was 9 and was with my older brother. I still remember the crowd and atmosphere. The Gwladys Street was absolutely rocking. Neil came on a substitute that day for Dave Jones. RIP Neil. Barry Shearer 13 Posted 23/12/2022 at 17:50:16 Thank you for reporting. The first time I saw a game at Goodison Park was on 26 December 1978 against Man City. We won 1-0. I was 9 and was with my older brother. I still remember the crowd and atmosphere. The Gwladys Street was absolutely rocking. Neil came on a substitute that day for Dave Jones. RIP Neil. Danny O’Neill 14 Posted 23/12/2022 at 17:54:17 Apologies for the sentiment, but today is always a day of reflection for me.My best childhood friend died 20 years ago today after being assaulted a few days earlier on a night out. I won't go into the detail. He was a huge Evertonian. We went to every home match over several seasons and many away trips during those 80s glory yearsWembley, the Villa Park semi finals, Old Trafford, Maine Road, Nottingham Forest amongst many others. Seeing the blues lift the title at Carrow Road and that long, but memorable trip home on the Amberline coach back to Speke being aloud to have an underage drink or two!!God bless you Dave.I did apologise in advance, so excuse me. Add Your Comments In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site. » Log in now Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site. How to get rid of these ads and support TW Find out how to browse ad-free and support ToffeeWeb © Rob Sawyer and Mike Royden. All rights reserved.