Today is a tale of both Hello’s and Goodbyes for the Hibees. While 1st place Hibs welcomes second place Formartine United to Edinburgh in a scintillating top of the table clash, they will also be saying farewell to legend and Hibernian Hall of Famer Martin Robinson, as he announced his retirement from playing during the week to take a coaching role with reserves.
Born in Edinburgh on the 16th of April 2012 and raised in Craigentinny as a diehard fan of the green and white of Edinburgh along with the rest of his family, He was spotted by and joined the youth academy at age 12, being handed a professional contract aged 16, foregoing the usual youth contract due to interest from clubs both down south and from Europe.
He would be given his first team debut 5 months later, Starting for the club on the 25th November in a Scottish Cup fifth round home tie against Dundee, and it would only take him eighteen minutes to make his mark, latching onto a low Colin Marshall cross to score a diving header past Jamie Barclay in a game that would eventually end 3-0 with the next two goals coming quickly after, Gareth Masson putting the ball into his own net for the second in the twentieth minute before Inter loanee Adrian Aguado finished the game on the half hour mark.
Despite this great start, Martin would have to wait a while before he was given another chance for the first team, his appearances were limited to substitutions with the game already pretty much over. But when he got his chance he took it once more, scoring twice in a 6-1 away win against Partick Thistle, with the others goals including another brace from Moussa Bamba, with Laurent Jacquet and Colin Marshall scoring the rest with Tommy Devlin getting the consolation for the Glasgow Jags. He would end the season with two more important goals, the opener in a 4-3 Edinburgh Derby win, as well as a goal in 2-2 draw against Celtic as Hibs secured their sixth successive Premiership. Though Robinson failed to pick up a medal for the league, his appearance from the bench in the 2-0 Scottish Cup Final win over St Mirren meant that Robinson ended his first season as a Professional footballer with a medal, the first of many. Robinson would spend the next few seasons forcing his way into the first team, successfully doing so in 2031 despite the goal scoring exploits of Barry Soane. With Martin Robinson up front, and the attacking midfield three of Fredinho, Dave Pickford and Lee Grice playing behind him, the Hibees would strike terror into the hearts of defenders across Scotland and Europe.
It would only get better for Robinson when, at only the age of 22, he was named captain following the retirement of Fellow Hibernian legend Colin Marshall, many players would crumble under such pressure at such a young age, but Martin Robinson finished the season with 43 goals and 15 assists in all competitions as well as completing another domestic treble for his team.
Undoubtedly his finest achievement for this club was his performances in 2038/2039 quadruple winning season. Captaining the squad that included fellow legends, such as goalkeeper Mohamed Boussaid (now retired), playmaker Paul Hutchings (Now at Bordeaux), and Left Winger Fredinho (retired), as well other greats like Leonardo Fantini, Gareth Pearson (left for West Brom, now retired) and Mariano Hue (now at Barcelona), the team would go on to record victories that the fans would remember for the rest of their lives, including an 8-3 cup semi-final win over Inverness CT, a 7-5 win over Formartine United, and a 3-1 victory over German giants Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League Final.
Robinson would carry on as the main man up front as he reached his early thirties, even when a young Gary Moore broke into the ranks, Martin was still scoring twenty goals a season, breaking the record for the most league goals for the club as well as the most league appearances, and would eventually outlast Moore when the much sought after star was sold to Manchester City for £8 Million.
It was only last season where it became clear that age was finally catching up to him, as he only scored 6 goals in 21, paling in comparison to his record of 22 in 34 the previous year. With appearances coming harder and harder to come by with the revelations of Bobby Schumacher and Matt Finnie, as well Craig Brown finally showing the ability he had teasing the Hibernian faithful he would show for so long, Martin Robinson announced he would hang up his boots aged 35 earlier in the week, with the captaincy role going to Leonardo Fantini, who was promoted from Vice Captain.
All in All, Martin Robinson made 680 appearances and scored 526 goals across all competitions for Hibernian football club. During his time, he would gain the following honours:
- The Scottish Premiership 18 times
- The Scottish Cup 14 times
- The Scottish League Cup 14 times
- The UEFA Europa League
In terms of personal accolades:
- League Golden Boot 9 times
- The European Silver Boot
- The Champions League Bronze Boot
- Twice named Runner’s Up in the Scottish Writer’s Players of the year
- Once named 3rd place in the SFA Player of the Season Award.
Martin Robinson will also be remembered well by the Tartan Army as he is the record goalscorer for Scotland, with 74 goals in 80 appearances for his Country.