Final respects paid to Blackpool FC's Cyril Robinson as funeral service takes place

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The funeral of the last surviving Blackpool FC player who was in the 1953 FACup final winning team has taken place with a large crowd turning out to pay their respects.

The service for Cyril Robinson , who died on November 9 at the age of 90, was conducted at Carleton Crematorium Chapel yesterday morning.

The coffin of Cyril Robinson

The coffin of Cyril Robinson

More than 100 people attended the service with some having to stand due to the unexpected crowds.

Cyril’s coffin was cover with orange and white flowers with Seasiders scarves wrapped on each side.

Even the undertakers had their tangerine ties on in recognition of Cyril’s time and success at the Bloomfield Road club.

Conducted by Graham Goldstone-Creasey, the crowds heard about Cyril’s life including the famous FA Cup final he took part in and how he met his wife Kathleen at the Winter Gardens.

More than 100 people were at the funeral

More than 100 people were at the funeral

The middle son of a miner, Cyril was born in the Nottinghamshire town of Bulwell on March 4 1929

The former wing-half , who made 21 appearances in tangerine, played in Blackpool’s famous FA Cup triumph at Wembley, what has become known as “the Matthews final, alongside the likes of Harry Johnston, Stan Mortensen and Sir Stanley Matthews, as the Seasiders claimed the trophy thanks to a 4-3 win against Bolton Wanderers.

The reward for the Blackpool players was a medal and a £20 bonus.

Robinson signed for Blackpool, then a leading First Division team. Earning £15 per week, he made his first team debut two years later in the home draw against Middlesbrough.

His two league goals for the club came later that month.

He also played for Northwich Victoria, Bradford Park Avenue and Southport in a career that spanned 13 years.

At the age of 30, Nottingham-born Robinson moved into non-league football to play for Fleetwood Town and Blackpool Mechanics, as well as Buxton and Lancaster City.

He later moved to Australia to play for Newcastle Croatia.

Robinson continued to live in Blackpool after his playing days and became the club’s groundsman in the 1970s, a job he loved as it meant he was close to his ‘beloved’ team.

He also ran a newsagent’s on Lytham Road and enjoyed playing golf at North Shore Golf Club.

John Cross, of the Blackpool Former Players Association led tributes following Robinson’s death and said it was the “end of an era” for the football club.

“I knew Cyril very well. He was a smashing fella and a real gentleman, ” he told The Gazette. He had a great spirit and loved life, and he loved to laugh and joke.

“He was best pals with Bill Perry, who also played in the ’53 final, and of course those two were the last two survivors (Robinson outlived Perry by 12 years). It was always a standing joke between them, I wonder which one of us will be the last one standing?’ They laughed and joked about it.

“Cyril was very unassuming because he knew how fortunate he was to have actually played and won an FA Cup final medal - as he only got in the team because of an injury.

“He was at Blackpool for four years, and was a regular in the reserves who stepped in as and when required.

“He said Stanley Matthews was incredible, even when he was playing against him in training.”

A spokesman for Blackpool FC said: “Our condolences go out to Cyril’s wife Kathleen and all the family at this time.”

Bolton’s Doug Holden is now the last survivor of “the Matthews final”; his Bolton team-mate Colin Wheeler died earlier this month.