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In Memoriam - David Robinson

The Poole and Bournemouth sporting scene has been saddened by the passing of David (Dave, Robo) Robinson, who played football and cricket for Poole, Minor Counties for Dorset and before becoming chairman of Hampshire's Cricket Committee. He was 85.
Professionally, he was senior partner with the Prince Croft & Ball (now PKF Francis Clark) accountancy practice. During his career PC&B established itself as the largest local independent practice. A talented sportsman in his youth and educated at Poole Grammar School, David took to accountancy locally in 1956 at the tender age of 18 before being tempted by the bright city lights and leaving for a spell in London in 1962 as a qualified Chartered Accountant. He returned to Bournemouth in 1967 and in 1980 became Senior Partner. Alongside his family, David’s passion was always sport, playing soccer in the winter and immediately switching to cricket when spring arrived. Once a ball boy at a soccer international at Wembley Stadium, David caught Newcastle United's eye when he was 16 years of age but, with his father a bank manager, he moved towards a 'proper job' in accountancy, however he did once attend a coaching course alongside Jimmy Greaves at Lilleshall.  Locally, he went on to play for Poole Town and Christchurch FC. Even when he was gaining accountancy experience in London, David returned home each weekend to play cricket. His son James recalled: "Dad told me how as a young boy when the family moved from living above the Lower Parkstone branch to manage Barclays bank in Christchurch, Dad rode his push bike to Poole Town football training and to cricket two or three times a week. His commitment continued when he lived in London and he would ride his Vespa scooter back home every weekend - with our Mum as pillion passenger - to play cricket for Poole.” David went on to spend his entire club career spanning 40 odd years at Poole Park as a top order batsman and represented Dorset in the Minor Counties Championship on numerous occasions. He rattled off hundreds galore, the first of which in 1956 coincided with Jim Laker taking 19 Australian wickets at Old Trafford. James remembered: "We loved going to watch Dad play for Poole and spent many a Saturday playing on the boundary edge hoping he'd play with us when he got out. I'm not sure he appreciated our enthusiasm when he returned to the dressing room. Away games were just as good and long before the days of satnavs, he used to navigate his way to opposition grounds using pubs as landmarks! Many a Saturday evening was spent outside a pub with a Panda Pop." When he eventually decided to hang up his boots, David devoted his enormous energies into Hampshire cricket. He became Poole's chair for 12 years, later becoming president, and was a member of Hampshire’s Executive Committee at Northlands Road, taking over as Chairman of Cricket from Jimmy Gray in 1997, a position he held until Hampshire became a limited company upon its move to the Rose Bowl at West End. Son James added: "I also remember when he was Chairman of Cricket at Hampshire and being round his house when he took a phone call. He casually said “That was good news, that was Shane Warne and he has agreed to play for Hampshire in the summer”. "Dad threw himself into watching cricket and his roles at Hampshire. He loved keeping busy, organising players' benefit dinners, including those for Malcolm Marshall, Robin Smith and Cardigan Connor, amongst others. To me it was all about the incredible friends and relationships he built through sport and how that transitioned into work. I am sure he had sporting rivals, maybe some enemies, but I would like to think that stayed on the pitch and there was always respect and a pint of something after the game. I loved to hear the stories when he met old friends around the grounds about how they would try to knock his proverbial head off but it was always said with a smile on their face and a handshake." David followed his Grandson, Tom Robinson around the grounds of Dorset playing youth and senior cricket for Poole and Dorset before he moved to play for David’s arch rivals Bournemouth. To this day Tom still gets asked if he is David Robinson’s grandson and is very proud to say yes. David Robinson was a regular spectator on the boundary edge at Chapel Gate, greeting everyone with a warm smile.  He will be greatly missed there this summer. The funeral is at  Tappers, Harbour View in Randalls Hill, Lytchett Minster, Dorset, BH16 6AN, on Monday 20 May at 10.30am.

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