Goalkeeper Joe Robinson joined City in February 1949 to compete with Billy Bly for the netminder’s shirt. When Robinson signed City were flying high at the top of Division Three North under Raich Carter and had just narrowly lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup Sixth Round in front of 55,000 supporters. He quickly entered the fray and started three games in early March, debuting against his pre-War side Hartlepools United. He played second fiddle to Bly for the next eighteen months, but was given a long term chance to shine early in 1950/51 season and had his most successful season, playing 36 of the 45 games and keeping both Bly and newly-signed Londoner John Savage at bay. Bly was restored to the first team in 1951/52 though Joe had a run of seven games in the early weeks of 1952 due to a Bly injury. When Bob Jackson took the manager’s position for 1952/53 he chose Robinson as his first choice keeper but after a 1-5 defeat at Barnsley in October 1952 Bly was restored. Robinson had another 11 game run in December 1952 and January 1953 but ended the season as second choice and left the club in the 1953 close season.
Born in Morpeth, the Northumberland county town, Robinson played for local county league sides before a successful 1937/38 season at North Eastern League side Hexham. This form attracted the attention of senior clubs and he signed professional terms for Hartlepools United in May 1938. He made 11 starts in his first season at Victoria Park and started the first two games of the 1939/40 season before the start of World War 2. He was immediately called up for military duty and missed Pools’ third, subsequently expunged, league game because he had been summoned by the Army the day before. He was deployed to the European frontline and was captured and imprisoned in 1940 at Dunkirk, remaining a prisoner of war for the duration of the conflict.
Returning to fitness after his wartime travails, Robinson signed for Blackpool in June 1946. He did not play for the first team in 1946/47 but was first choice for the second half of 1947/48 season after veteran keeper Jock Wallace went AWOL. With Robinson in goal the Tangerines embarked on a successful FA Cup run and Joe started the Final at Wembley, in which Manchester United defeated Blackpool 4-2. He started 1948/49 season as Blackpool’s first choice keeper but was dropped after 8 games and did not play again prior to his transfer to Hull City.
Robinson joined Midland League side Wisbech Town in 1953 and for three years was player manager for the Cambridgeshire club. Later in life he moved to Stockport, where he died in July 1991.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 March 1919, Morpeth
Hull City First Game: 5 March 1949, Hartlepools United H (Division Three North), 30 years, 1 days old
Hull City Final Game: 6 April 1953, Lincoln City H (Division Two), 34 years, 33 days old
Morpeth, Ashington (1936-1937), Hexham (1937-1938), Hartlepools United (1938-1939), Blackpool (1946-1949), Hull City (1949-1953, Wisbech Town (1953-1956)
Hull City Record
Career: 77 apps, 0 goalsJoe Robinson