Farewell to ‘toughest’ in rugby league

TRIBUTES are flowing for one of the toughest men in rugby league, and all-round “good bloke”, former Bulldog Geoff ‘Robbo’ Robinson who passed away last Wednesday.

The 66-year-old had battled throat and tongue cancer for years and is believed to have suffered a heart attack.
His beloved Bulldogs paid tribute to him with a minute’s silence, donning black armbands and running out with their socks pulled down to honour the Bulldogs legend – a trademark of the late charger alongside his shoulder-length black hair.
They also used the inspiration of the ‘Wild man’ – a cult hero of the 70s and 80s – to get over the line with a golden point victory.
His longtime friend, head of Laundy Hotels – including the Twin Willows Hotel where “Robbo was part of the family” – and Bulldogs sponsor, Arthur Laundy, said he was “devastated”.
“It’s very, very sad,” he said.
“It really hurts me, he was just the toughest guy … but the nicest.
“He was my buddy … had been for so long.”
‘Robbo’ was a local junior and played an instrumental role in the success of the Bulldogs during the late 1970s and 1980s. Debuting for the club in 1977, he quickly established himself as a formidable forward, renowned for his toughness.
He made 139 first grade appearances for the Bulldogs, scoring 6 tries, featuring in the Bulldogs premiership victories in 1980 and 1984 as well as the 1986 Grand Final. His hard-hitting style and relentless work ethic on the field earned him admiration from teammates, opponents and fans alike.
After retiring, he then coached the Canterbury Under 21s side to a Premiership in 1991.
He was awarded Life Membership of the football club in 1984.
He will also be very missed by his “friends” at Heroes with Ability where he would often join his good mate Mark Hughes on a Friday afternoon to bring joy to the group with sport and activities.
A Bulldogs spokesperson said “Geoff will be sorely missed, but his memory will forever be etched in the history of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs”.
“We are grateful for the incredible contributions he made to our club.
“The club would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Robinson family and friends at this difficult time.”
He is survived by wife Janine and their seven kids – Layla, Hayden, Travis, Jayde, Nadine, Simone and Joel, and their grandchildren.
His funeral will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Leppington, this Saturday (July 13) at 10am.