Peter Robinson, the long-serving former Liverpool secretary and chief executive, has died at the age of 86, the club have announced.
Robinson was a key figure at Anfield during a 35-year period from 1965 to 2000 which encompassed the club’s prolonged spell as the dominant force in the English game.
The Reds won 29 trophies during his tenure, including 12 league championships and four European Cups.
Former Liverpool player and manager Sir Kenny Dalglish identified Robinson as playing a significant role in that silverware-laden era.
“Peter Robinson was the focal point in the development of Liverpool FC. He made decisions that shaped the club and we simply wouldn’t have enjoyed as many successes without his massive influence,” he wrote on Twitter.
Working in partnership with chairman John Smith, Robinson oversaw a modernisation of the club following his appointment as secretary shortly before the Reds’ first FA Cup success in 1965.
The pair transformed administrative operations to allow managers, beginning with the inspirational Bill Shankly, to focus on the team. The approach led to a period of extraordinary and sustained success as Shankly was followed by Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Dalglish.
Robinson switched roles to become chief executive in 1992. Widely respected in the game, he was also instrumental in the development of Anfield and a growth in commercial income.
Gerard Houllier, in 1998, was his final managerial appointment before stepping down in 2000.
A statement on Liverpool’s official website read: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of former club secretary and chief executive Peter Robinson.
“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool FC are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Prior to working at Liverpool, Robinson had held roles at Stockport, Crewe, Scunthorpe and Brighton.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann, who played for the club from 1999-2006, was among the first to pay tribute.
The German tweeted: “Sad news indeed, a special man left us. @LFC wouldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for him. He‘ll be badly missed.”
Jan Molby, at Liverpool from 1984 to 1996, tweeted: “#LFC won 29 major trophies whilst Peter was pulling the strings upstairs. RIP Peter Robinson #YNWA.”
Former captain Phil Thompson, a winner of 17 major trophies – including seven league titles and three European Cups – during Robinson’s time wrote: “Such sad news about the passing of Peter Robinson, he was a behind the scenes legend in how he run our club. Every UK team sought his advice about all things Euro football. RIP Peter.”
Former defender Jamie Carragher tweeted: “One of the most important figures in @LFC success over many years. RIP PBR”, while ex-full-back Jason Mcateer posted: “I was more nervous meeting Mr Robinson than Roy Evans when I signed absolute legend @LFC. Very sad to see him go.”