Belfast Telegraph

Blues or the Crues, so just who did sign JR?

By Adrian Rutherford

We've all heard of the great Who Shot JR mystery which gripped fans of the TV show Dallas in the early 1980s.

Now Irish League football has its own baffling saga - who signed JR?

was at the centre of a bizarre tug-of-war between the Danske Bank Premiership's top two clubs over the last 48 hours.

Both Crusaders and Linfield announced on Thursday night that they had signed the 24-year-old. Linfield tweeted they had landed the player at 10.33pm on Thursday, with Crusaders following at 11.32pm.

It led to much amusement among rival fans, with other clubs taking to Twitter to jokingly clarify Robinson wasn't joining them as well.

Last night, however, the saga appeared to have been resolved.

Linfield posted a picture of Robinson at Windsor Park with manager David Healy.

And shortly after 5pm yesterday, the Irish Football Association confirmed the deal.

A statement said: "The Irish FA received Standard Professional Contract forms for Josh Robinson from both Linfield FC (7.56pm) and Crusaders FC (10.56pm) yesterday evening.

"Having considered the documentation received from both clubs, and based upon Irish FA regulations regarding priority of registrations, the Irish FA can confirm that the player is successfully registered with Linfield FC."

Robinson spent one year with English non-league side York City after joining them from Crusaders. But he opted to return to Irish League football - sparking the bizarre chain of events.

Linfield stated the player had agreed a four-year deal, while Crusaders said he had signed a three-year contract.

It was reported Robinson trained with the Crusaders squad on Tuesday night.

On the official Linfield website, Healy said: "I'm delighted to be able to advise our supporters that Josh Robinson has agreed to join Linfield.

"Josh is a player I have admired and have been keen to bring to the club to increase the competition levels within our squad."

Linfield's announcement was quickly followed by one from Crusaders claiming Robinson had actually signed an agreement to return to their home ground, Seaview.

The Crues said Robinson had signed a pre-contract agreement on June 9, and that all the necessary documentation had been lodged with the IFA.

"It is great to have Josh back in the fold," said Crusaders treasurer Tommy Whiteside.

No doubt Robinson can expect a feisty welcome when he shows up at Crusaders on September 2, when Linfield travel to Seaview for a league fixture.

BY ADRIAN RUTHERFORD

Belfast Telegraph

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