A gentle man, a family man and a talented footballer Leo Robinson will be sadly missed

Leo Robinson
Leo Robinson

Always with a twinkle in his eye, Leo Robinson was rarely without a smile on his face.

‘The Quiet Man’, Leo was a man of few words. He had that special glint in his eye that spoke volumes.

From Milltown near Maghery, Leo, as a youth, was a hard worker, always eager to learn.

The son of Rose and Patrick Robinson, Leo was one of seven children - brothers Kevin, Edmund, Alphonsus, Malachy and Dermot and his sister Sheila.

From his early days digging turf and growing vegetables, Leo embodied the Robinson ethic of hard work, often in extremely tough weather conditions.

People still talk of Leo’s skill as a Gaelic footballer. Indeed his prowess on the pitch was legendary.

Regarded as a clever player with speed and skill, he captained the Shamrocks, later to become Maghery Sean MacDermotts, in the 1962 county Gaelic final.

He was also a very popular player. It is a testament to the high esteem in which he was held that the current Maghery Sean MacDermotts brought the Gerry Fegan Cup, which they won last year as County Champions, to his Requiem Mass.

Leo married his childhood sweetheart Rosaleen Robinson - they grew up just a mile apart.

And they were inseparable throughout nearly 50 years of married life, apart from a short time in the 1960s when Leo’s job, working as an explosive expert in quarries, took him to work in England.

He was a highly skilled expert and also highly regarded by his work colleagues in Wales and throughout his many years in England.

So impressed was he at the beauty of the Lake District, he asked Rosaleen to move there.

The couple eventually settled in Kendal and had three children Eamon, Eileen and Alan.

And it was as a family man that Leo Robinson excelled. He adored children and had a playful streak, often playing magic tricks with his children and his nieces and nephews.

He was the perfect father and a very much loved uncle and brother, always making time for children. He was a doting grandfather and thoroughly enjoyed visits from Eamon, Eileen and Alan’s children.

A life-long pioneer, Leo’s family will remember him as someone who taught them great values.

Leo was a gentle man, kind and generous who preferred the simple things in life.

He had a great sense of humour and was well known for his ‘one-liners’.

From his childhood days he had always had a fascination for nature and particularly birds and was regularly out feeding them, particularly the little ones.

He enjoyed gardening particularly growing small crops of strawberries and vegetables.

Not only did he keep his own garden neat and tidy, he would often help his neighbours in Kendal mow their lawns.

Family, friends and neighbours were very important to Leo who loved welcoming people into the family home. It was his tradition to walk people to the gate and make sure they got home safely.

Leo also had a great interest in tractors and over the years with his son Eamon, they refurbished several and visited country shows.

He also was a fan of Kendal Town Football Club, regularly attending matches.

Moving towards retirement, Leo with his wife Rosaleen built a house close to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Maghery and eventually retired there around 10 years ago.

Always thinking of his family, he made sure the house would be big enough to cater for visits for his ever growing family and he adored their regular trips to Ireland.

Leo passed away peacefully at Lough Neagh Nursing Home in Milltown on September 22 surrounded by his family.

His funeral was on September 25 at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Maghery with burial in the nearby graveyard.

Leo’s Month’s Mind Mass will be at the same church on Saturday October 21 at 7.15pm.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Rosaleen, children Eamon, Alan and Eileen, daughters-in-law Liz and Sonya, son-in-law Craig, grandchildren Rebecca, Thomas, Erin, Josh and Lucie, brother Dermot, sister Sheila, nieces and nephews and wide family circle.