Leeds United Playing Squad for the relegation 2003-04 Season
Robbo, England's No. 1
Paul Robinson Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
International: England full & U-21
Understudy to Nigel Martyn for several seasons under David O'Leary, he was given his chance by Terry Venables during the 2003-03 season. He never looked back and the displaced England keeper, Nigel Martyn left the club on 31st August, 2003 to seek first-team football at Everton.
Paul Robinson also established himself during the 2002-03 as a member of the full England squad having been a regular England U-21 keeper previously
"Robbo" was brought up in Beverley, Humberside and was a childhood Manchester United fan (see, all great men have feet of clay).
During the summer of 2003 close season, the Board of Leeds United plc agreed to sell Robbo for a derisory £3.25m fee, to O'Leary's new club, Aston Villa . The deal eventually fell through, ostensibly over personal terms. However, Robbo had had a public fallout with the new Chairman of Leeds United plc, Prof John McKenzie over the proposed sale. He said he felt he was being forced out to help pay Leeds United's monumental debts. McKenzie denied this. Both did their talking through the media. It was clear if the two talked to each other, rather than the media, the matter would have been seen as a misunderstanding due to misquoting in the press.
There is no doubt most people saw the fee as a bargain, and Leeds fans were outraged that the club would accept such a low fee. Many felt Robbo was waiting for Man Utd or Arsenal to make a bid (both would later sign new keepers, Tim Howard and Lehmann), after all Aston Villa only finished one place above Leeds in 02-03 and while O'Leary claimed Robbo "loved him" (in a non-biblical way), he never gave him the chance to play a game in his final season as Leeds manager (2001-02).
Eventually Robbo stayed, however, at the start of next season (2004-05) when he only has two years left on his contract, we will see what fallout remains of the bitter dispute when Leeds try to persuade him to sign an extension. Only then may we regret the decision to let Nigel Martyn go to pastures new, although we do have several good young goalies at the club.
3rd Sept, 2003
Update: 13th May - Leeds agree a sale of Paul to Spurs for a paltry £2,000,000. Not much for an England International keeper we have nutured since he was 14 years of age. But we can't afford the Ridsdale wages he is on. Cheers, Peter, you septic asswipe.