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Gary Tasker explains why Fred Robinson was more than just a kitman at Bradford Northern and Bradford Bulls
Fred Robinson was a legendary figure at Bradford Northern/Bulls during his long spell as kitman between 1964 and 2005. Gary Tasker, who worked as the club’s general manager for 18 years, pays tribute to Fred after his recent passing.
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Fred for nearly 30 years having first come across him as a naive 17-year-old playing for the Bradford Northern colts.
Although sad at hearing the news of his death I have found myself smiling and laughing a lot this week when recalling many of our experiences together.
He was a truly unique character that embodied the values of Bradford Northern/Bulls with his work ethic, wit, commitment and remarkable eye for detail.
He was far more than a kitman and was one of those low key characters that every successful club needs on its backroom staff - they set the culture and keep the wheels turning.
His biggest strength was his ability to create a subtle pecking order around the changing rooms when managing three teams and being responsible for the distribution of kit and equipment.
He managed to do this and keep everyone grounded, from the many international players, the temperamental superstars right through to the young aspiring juniors – all would be treated accordingly.
A very proud man, he turned out teams meticulously season after season and played a real part in our success as he understood the little things that were the big things to a player on game day.
He was known for his love of the 'odd vessel' and his sayings are now part of Bradford folklore.
The one I find myself saying the most is 'enough is plenty' and it truly is.
I count myself very fortunate to have known Fred and had an understanding what he stood for - he helped me and many others along the way and we owe him a great debt of gratitude.
He would have wanted us to enjoy a few vessels tomorrow and I suspect many will do. Cheers, Fred.
Fred’s funeral takes places at Elland Crematorium tomorrow from 12pm and there will be celebration of his life at Odsal afterwards.
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