Glittering highs and sad lows for John Robson

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He lifted two League Cups with Aston Villa and was part of Brian Clough's legendary title-winning Derby County side.

But, while he enjoyed a trophy-laden career in the 1970s, John Robson's glittering time in football is equally known for it's heartbreaking end.

An accomplished full-back, Robson had played more than 200 times for Derby when manager Vic Crowe brought him to Villa Park just before Christmas in 1972 after agreeing to pay £90,000.

A tough tackler, he quickly settled into life in the Midlands and put in a string of impressive displays.

And the following season he transformed into an equally fine midfielder following the emergence of John Gidman at right-back.

In the 1974-75 campaign, he missed just one of Villa's league and cup matches as they won promotion to the top flight and lifted the League Cup by beating Norwich City at Wembley.

That season Robson had started in midfield but he reverted back to being a defender, after Gidman suffered a serious eye injury following a a firework accident.

Robson continued to serve Villa well in the top flight and was also a member of the team that repeated the club's League Cup success by beating Everton in 1977.

But, in 1978, Villa's versatile star was told he was suffering from the early stages of multiple sclerosis.


The diagnosis forced him to hang up his boots with Villa staging a testimonial for him against an international select side in October 1978.

After his retirement, Robson decided to run a newsagent in Erdington, Birmingham.

But his condition worsened and he died on May 12, 2004, aged just 53 years old.

In total, Robson – who was born in Consett, County Durham – played 176 matches in Villa's claret and blue.

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