Shock as long-time Ulster physio Robinson quits post after 18 years
Tributes have been paid to Ulster's long-serving physiotherapist Gareth 'GG' Robinson after he revealed his seemingly unexpected departure from Kingspan Stadium after 18 seasons with the province.
Former Ulster skipper Justin Harrison led the way, after Robinson made it known on social media that his time at the province had ended.
A stalwart at the club, Robinson was renowned for his enthusiastic touchline celebrations and total commitment to the cause, while also being highly regarded in his professional field where he was head physio at Ulster.
After having been with Ulster since 2000, Robinson's final game with the province came on Sunday's Champions Cup play-off with the Ospreys.
The fact that there was no hint he was signing off - when so many players and coach Jono Gibbes were also taking their leave - suggests his exit may not necessarily have been known at that time.
Robinson announced he was no longer with Ulster on social media yesterday with a tweet which said: "Last Sunday… and 18 seasons later… my final whistle.
"Goodbye and thank you to all at Ulster Rugby and our amazing supporters.
"I will miss you. Keep standing up and remember Nevin (Spence). GG."
Former Ulster skipper Harrison, who led the province to their Celtic League success in 2006, weighed in with a typically forthright tribute to Robinson on Twitter.
Harrison tweeted: "Magician Physio to keep my busted a**e on the field, legendary man who gave me history lessons on the red hand and how to SUFTUM, converted me to Man U and George Best.
"Some of the best memories of my life with the Geeg at my side."
The popular physio was foremost in ensuring that the memory of Spence - who was killed along with his father and brother in a farm tragedy in 2012 - remained constant at Ulster, and Robinson's kit bag had the words 'Nevin Spence - always with us' clearly visible.
A past pupil at Royal School Armagh, Robinson had previously worked at a high level in football where he had been with Tottenham Hotspur, before hooking up with Ulster 18 years ago.
As well as looking after Ulster's players for nearly two decades, Robinson had also worked with the Ireland senior side.