Longtown, Cumbria born left back Dave Robinson began his football career with Lockerbie in 1921, and after an unsuccessful trial with Aston Villa, he played for Eskdale in 1922, Carlisle United in 1923, Solway Star in 1924 and Workington in 1925. He joined First Division Leeds United in 1926, serving as understudy to Bill Menzies, and made his Football League debut, already aged 26, against Blackburn Rovers that October, making 4 appearances as Leeds United suffered relegation. He played only once more for Leeds in a win over Bristol City in January 1928 before leaving Elland Road for Southend United in May 1928.
He became a stalwart defender for Southend United, despite suffering a bad injury in February 1933, and was a near ever present in 1929-30, 1931-32, when Southend finished third in the League, and 1935-36, scoring once for The Shrimpers, late on in his career in a 5-0 win over Newport County in May 1939, in 350 appearances before his career was ended by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 and injury forced his retirement in 1940, having scored 3 goals in 30 wartime league fixtures for Southend in 1939-40.
It was while at The Kursaal that he got to play at Wembley Stadium in unusual circumstances. Their away fixture at Clapton Orient’s Lea Bridge Road stadium was moved to Wembley Stadium as Orient’s ground had been closed following a bad injury to a Torquay United player resulting from the close proximity of the pitch barrier to the playing surface, as the stadium also housed a speedway track which was almost up to the playing area, which at the time was already the minimum pitch size permitted. While remedial work was carried out the East Londoners were forced to hire the Empire Stadium in order to stage two home games. The first resulted in an easy 3-0 win over Brentford in front of a healthy 8,000 plus crowd. However, the visit of Southend United attracted a crowd of only 1,916 (which must have looked very odd in the vast stadium with a then capacity of 100,000) and Robinson played in a 3-1 defeat by Clapton Orient, albeit in a Third Division (South) fixture on 6th December 1930.
After his retirement he served Southend as Assistant Trainer for thirteen years under Wilf Copping and Wilf Dixon, and after he retired from the coaching staff he was appointed Southend’s groundsman and gave his usual unstinted dedication until his retirement in 1970. He had his first testimonial match in 1934, when David Jack came to watch and was persuaded to join the Shrimpers as their Manager, and his second on his retirement in 1970.