THE family of Oswestry journalist and sporting stalwart, Mike Robinson, have led tributes after he died last week.

Mr Robinson will be known to many for his popular Advertizer sports column which he wrote in recent years, along with his long-standing support of Oswestry Cricket Club.

He died on Friday at the age of 65 after a short illness, a day after his wife Lesley died, who was a learning support teaching assistant at The Marches School for 25 years and had recently retired.

The couple had two sons, Mark and Paul.

Mark said: “We know they were loved by many people because of the support and messages we have received – it is overwhelming.

“We would like to thank everyone for the messages that they have sent.”

On Saturday, Oswestry Cricket Club, of which Mr Robinson was chairman, held a minute’s silence. It will be repeated this Saturday when the first team will also wear black armbands.

Club president, John Hulme, said: “This is a desperately sad time for the club and for the people of Oswestry.

“Mike’s contribution to Oswestry Cricket Club and to Shropshire cricket was immeasurable and it will never be forgotten.”

Chris Wiseman, club secretary, said: “He was Oswestry Cricket Club. It is terribly sad news and he leaves huge shoes to fill, he will never be replaced.

“His ethos was that he wanted the club to be the best it could be, and we will be carrying on Mike’s lasting legacy.

“All of the club’s games will go ahead on Saturday because that is what Mike would have wanted, and there will be a minute’s silence before the games.

“He made an immense contribution to the club, and we will look to do something to mark that contribution.”

Mr Robinson began his journalistic career with North Wales Newspapers working on the Oswestry and Border Counties Advertizer. He then spent 13 years as deputy sports editor on the company’s daily Evening Leader newspaper, as it was then called, before joining the Shrewsbury Chronicle in 1988 and edited a number of newspapers within the Shropshire Star group.

Dai Lewis, a former editor of the Advertizer, said: “The Shropshire and Midlands sporting scene will be a much poorer place without the participation and guidance of Mike Robinson. But where he will be missed most is in the journalistic world.

“Mike was one of the most respected newspapermen I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He asked me to write a reference for him when he left the Evening Leader to join the Shrewsbury Chronicle - and I considered it an honour to do so.

“I never heard a journalist say a bad word about Mike. We all respected his ability as a reporter, sub-editor and editor.

“But for me it was as a columnist that his star shone brightest. It was in his ‘Robbo’ sports page in the Tizer where he displayed his superb use of the English language, his pride in the wonderful community he was brought up in and above all his honesty. His column published in May 2014, headlined ‘Dream shattered by Chance in a Million’, which told the story of a failed business attempt, was one of the most moving pieces I have ever read.

“Mike will be sorely missed by all who knew him. And thousands of readers who never ever met him.”

Mr Robinson returned to the Advertizer and its sister paper the Whitchurch Herald in 2013 as sub editor.

Susan Perry, associate editor of NWN Media Ltd, publishers of the Advertizer, said: “Mike will be greatly missed by all his colleagues on the Advertizer, Whitchurch Herald and at NWN Media Ltd.

“He was a great journalist whose sporting knowledge was second to none and his love for local sport apparent. He was a true gentleman and it was an honour to work alongside him.

“Our thoughts are with his sons, family and friends at this very sad time.”