An England recall could be on the horizon for Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson. Who would have thought that just over a year ago when the former England no 1 was ruled out of action for six months with a blood clot as well as having retired from international duty in 2010. But with an impressive return to action this year and an alarming lack of quality English keepers, Roy Hodgson’s camp have reportedly taken notice and it could well be the 34 year old has a ticket on the plane to Brazil.

A wretched 2013

Robinson ended up missing the whole of 2013 and it might surprise you to know, he very nearly lost his life to a blood clot. In January last year he underwent a back operation to fix a sciatica problem that had plagued him for years. That should have ruled him out for two to three months, but instead, just five days after the operation he began to suffer chest pains and was coughing up blood. A trip to accident and emergency did nothing for him as he was told it was common practice due to tubes being down his throat from the operation. But later that night the pain accumulated and Robinson decided to call Blackburn club doctor Duncan Robertson. He recognised the problem and sent the keeper to Leeds General Infirmary and with the help of a radiographer they diagnosed a blood clot that effectively had shut down one of his lungs. It was here where Robbo was told that he had just come very close to dying. Over the next eleven days, his blood was thinned, but with this came the lack of ability to do pretty much anything. A walk to his car would leave him feeling breathless, nose bleeds were a common occurrence; it meant he had to stay in bed for at least a month.

Paul Robinson in England colours.

Paul Robinson in England colours.

England career

Since then it has been a steady but slow recovery for him, he finally made his long anticipated return to action against Man City on the FA Cup 3rd round at the start of 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. He arguably saved Blackburn a point in their last Championship game against Middlesbrough and it’s this sort of form that has made the England camp sit up and take notice. Let’s not forget the excellent career he had whilst being no 1. In the qualification matches for the 2006 World Cup he kept six clean sheets out of nine and in the tournament he kept four more teams out before defeat to Portugal in the quarter finals. Moving on from the World Cup and Robinson started the first three games of the Euro 2008 qualifications and kept clean sheets in all three. The fourth game saw the infamous back pass from Gary Neville and the bobble that condemned England to defeat. He kept his place for the rest of the campaign, but another error was made in a friendly against Germany at Wembley.

His final act was in a 2-1 defeat to Russia in the penultimate game of the qualification campaign. His error led to Russia’s winning goal and he was dropped for the final game with Scott Carson coming in. Ironically he too made a mistake and thus England failed to qualify for Euro 2008. Two more years of being on the substitutes bench came about before being dropped altogether for the 2010 World Cup. Many pundits believed Robinson should have gone to South Africa, at least as back up if not the number one, but it never happened forcing Robinson into retirement.

Four years on and he may now want to reconsider his retirement and add to his 41 caps. It would be a remarkable turnaround for the Leeds born stopper, who this time last year might well have thought, his football career was over.


About Author

Sal is currently studying an MA in Sports Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University after graduating two years ago with a degree in Sports Science. He'd like to say writing about Blackburn Rovers would be just as good as playing for them but it probably isn't. It does, however, give him a chance to tell you his version of events down at Ewood and the Football League in general.