Phil Robinson was only 27 at the time of his arrival at Saltergate, but he had already won Fourth and Third Division championships and played in Sherpa Van and Mercantile Credit finals at Wembley with Wolves, as well as making more Wembley appearances with Notts. County ('89-90 play-off winners) and Birmingham (90-1 Associate Members' Cup winners).


He had probably also been written off by most at that age, too. Phil began his career as a Villa Park trainee and enjoyed relatively brief but productive spells at Wolves and Notts County before joining Huddersfield Town in 1992. The £15,000 that Chesterfield paid to bring him here in December 1994 was fantastic business on manager John Duncan's part. It is probably not too strong to say that Phil and Tony Lormor turned a well-organised, better-than-average Third Division outfit into play-off winners. Phil was the creative heart of John Duncan's `94-5 promotion team: a ball winner and crisp passer, he was at his best going forward (a fact that, mysteriously, appears to have slipped past his previous managers) and scored at an excellent rate for a midfielder. His support play, too, was intelligent and important, always being ready and in position to take the ball from team-mates should they run into trouble.


Towards the end of `95-6 the team ran into trouble scoring and John Duncan moved Phil up front occasionally, but that didn't work out and injury and the vagaries of team selection led to his being omitted for some vital games as the team slipped out of the play-off picture. Phil was sold to Notts County a week before the start of the `96-7 season at a substantial profit. Rumours of a rift with the manager appeared to be confirmed by a director's allegation, made at the Supporters' Club's AGM in October `96, that he was a `disruptive influence'. Whether he was or not, the team seemed to lack something for quite a while after his departure.


During his last few years as a player, Phil began training as a physiotherapist, and was released by Notts. County in June, 1998 to further his career in this profession, and he took up an appointment at Stoke City. Notts were somewhat taken aback to find the apprentice physio play some 60-odd games for his new side! After a spell at Hereford, Phil moved to manage Stafford Rangers. In 2008 he began working for Birmingham City’s academy and is currently employed in a similar capacity at Aston Villa.


For Chesterfield: 60+1 Football League appearances, 17 goals.