Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Robinson: Alfred

1917-1917 (Leeds City War-time Guest Player Details)


Born: Manchester: 1888

Debut: v The Wednesday (a): 20-01-1917

Height & Weight: Unknown

Robinson was born in Manchester in 1888. A talented goalkeeper, he played local football with Chapel-en-le-Frith before joining Second Division Gainsborough Trinity in 1908. After playing fifty-four League and five F.A. Cup games in three years, Robert Middleton persuaded Robinson to sign for First Division Blackburn Rovers in 1911. Robinson joined a defence that included players such as Bob Crompton, Arthur Cowell, Albert Walmsley, George Chapman, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw. The 1911-12 season began badly with Blackburn Rovers losing two of its first three games. Robert Middleton decided to move George Chapman from centre-half to centre-forward. This was a great success and Blackburn's form gradually improved and the team went on an unbeaten run that lasted three months. This took them to the top of the League. Despite being defeated by Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, Blackburn went on another good run and by the end of the season they had three more points than main challengers, Everton. It was the first time in Blackburn's history that they had won the Football League title. Top scorers were Wattie Aitkenhead, with fifteen, and George Chapman, with nine. Robinson played well and Blackburn only conceded forty-three goals League goals. Only Everton let in fewer goals that season. Blackburn started the 1912-13 season very well and were undefeated until December. This was followed by five successive defeats. In an attempt to regain the championship, Robert Middleton broke the British transfer record by buying Danny Shea from West Ham United for £2,000. Patsy Gallagher, described Shea as "one of the greatest ball artists who has ever played for England. His manipulation of the ball was bewildering." Robert Middleton also purchased another forward, Joe Hodkinson for £1,000. Shea scored twelve goals, but it was not enough, and Blackburn finished fifth that season. Edwin Latheron with fourteen, Wattie Aitkenhead with thirteen and George Chapman with ten, were the club's other top scorers. The defence played well and conceded only forty-three League goals. Only Manchester City had a better defensive record that season. In July 1913, Alec Bell, the Scottish international left-half, joined Blackburn from Manchester United for £1,000. Bell was recruited as cover for the half-back line of Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw. In the 1913-14 season Blackburn once again won the League title. Danny Shea was in great form scoring twenty-seven goals. Edwin Latheron also did well that season with thirteen goals. Both men also won International Caps for England. The defence, marshalled by Bob Crompton, also performed well and only let in forty-two League goals that season. The following season Blackburn broke the transfer record again when they bought Percy Dawson for £2,500 from Heart of Midlothian. Blackburn Rovers scored eighty-three goals in the 1914-15 season. However, their defence was not as good and Blackburn finished third behind the champions, Everton. Dawson was top scorer with twenty goals. He was followed by Edwin Letheron with seventeen, Danny Shea with thirteen, George Chapman with nine and Wattie Aitkenhead with eight. During the War Robinson played guest games with Leeds City, he first played for them in January 1917 and played six times in the Principal Tournament before the end of the 1916-17 season. He followed up with two more games against Bradford City in September of the 1917-18 season, which saw City crowned unofficial champions of England after defeating Stoke in a two legged-play-off. Robinson did not play again for Leeds and Tommy Hampson was given his chance between the posts, which he took with both hands. Robinson returned to the Blackburn Rovers team after the First World War. By the time he left the club in 1920 Robinson had played in one hundred and forty-four games in the League, and another twelve in the F.A. Cup, for the club. He played out the rest of his career with Non-League Darwen. In June 2009, a Blackburn Rovers Championship medal from 1912 was sold at auction for £3,000. It belonged to keeper Alfred Robinson, who helped Rovers to their first Football League championship. The rare memento of Blackburn Rovers’ very first Football League title triumph, the 1911-1912 championship medal which was presented to Rovers’ goalkeeper, Alfred Robinson, reached £3,000 when it went up for sale at Bonhams in Chester on 17th June 2009. The medal featured on one side the words: “The Football League” and on the other: “Champions Div 1 1911-1912 Blackburn Rovers A. Robinson.” Robinson, who was famous for his daring and agility, was also part of the Rovers team that won the League again in 1914. The Auctioneers said it was rare for such a medal to appear at auction. It was fifteen carat gold, while modern professional football medals are made from nine carat gold. In his book, Blackburn Rovers: The Official Encyclopaedia, Rovers’ historian Mike Jackman wrote of Robinson: “Despite his youth, Robinson had held down the goalkeeping position at Gainsborough Trinity on a regular basis prior to joining Blackburn. “He left Second Division Gainsborough to become understudy to Jimmy Ashcroft at Ewood Park, but did so well on a close season tour of Austria and Hungary that he began the 1911-1912 season as the club’s first choice custodian.” Although he was only five feet nine inches tall in his football socks, Manchester-born Alfred Robinson was a talented goalkeeper. One reporter described him at the time as “a clever, daring and active keeper, who is not afraid to dive for the ball at an opponent’s feet.” The First World War interrupted his football career. He returned to Blackburn but injuries and the arrival of Ronnie Sewell meant that his first team appearances were restricted. In January 1923, he joined Darwen. Rovers, with Robinson in goal, won the 1912 Football League title by winning twenty of their thirty-eight League games, finishing ahead of closest rivals Everton.

War-time Guest AppearancesGoals
Principal Tournament 80
Subsidiary Tournament 00
Total 80