Ask a Tottenham Hotspur fan what they recall about the summer of 1991 and there is likely to be only one answer.
Winning the FA Cup in itself is enough to stick in the mind. The very nature of the victory is even more memorable.
Signing a 16-year-old boy from Northern Ireland was much less significant and the fact that Stephen Robinson went on to play just twice in the Spurs first-team means few outside of the club’s most ardent supporters will recall seeing him appear in the white shirt.
Today, though, the man from Crumlin wants his League One strugglers Morecambe to give Tottenham manager Antonio Conte and the supporters a memory they won’t forget, only for a different reason.
Sadly, on such a big occasion for the former Northern Ireland coach, Robinson will not be in the Tottenham Stadium dug-out today after testing positive for Covid-19. His assistant and ex-Irish League ace Diarmuid O’Carroll will take charge of the side.
However, even from his place of isolation, Robinson is still setting his team out to cause a major FA Cup shock and thus prolong Spurs’ wait to lift the trophy for the first time since the year Robinson signed.
That was when Spurs had to fight back from going 1-0 down in the first half to beat Nottingham Forest at Wembley after losing their star player, Paul Gascoigne, to injury in the tackle that conceded the free-kick that Stuart Pearce scored the opening goal from.
“It was the tie that I wanted. You always want to go back to your former clubs and Spurs was the biggest one,” said Robinson, who knocked back interest from Manchester United and Rangers to move to White Hart Lane.
“I signed for Spurs that summer after they won the Cup and the club was absolutely buzzing at the time.
“The players who were at the club at the time were superstars and I find it incredible that a club of Spurs’ stature haven’t won it since.
“I signed under Terry Venables and played a couple of games under Ossie Ardiles.
“They have evolved massively since I was there — the Mill Hill training facility is the dark ages compared to where they train now at Enfield and the stadium is one of the best in the world.
“The one thing missing from Spurs is trophies on a consistent basis.
“It is certainly set up as an infrastructure to achieve that and they have a manager and playing staff in place that can go on and achieve that, in my opinion.”
The 47-year-old, who joined Spurs from Lisburn Youth after being spotted by well-known scout Robbie Walker, is remembered for an FA Cup moment of his own, a fantastic strike that put Luton Town 2-1 up against Liverpool in a third-round tie back in 2006.
The Hatters went on to take a 3-1 lead, but the game is more widely remembered for Xabi Alonso netting from the halfway line to seal the comeback in a 5-3 win and Liverpool went on to defeat West Ham United in a thrilling Final on penalties.
“I’ve tried not to mention it too many times — only every other sentence,” Robinson said with a smile.
“Our press officer has had the clips out a couple of times and those are good memories for me. I’ve said to the players that I am still living off that goal against Liverpool. I played over 500 games and that is probably the only one that anybody asks me about.”
Sixteen years have passed since that game. Around Morecambe they will be talking about facing Spurs for a lifetime if they can pull off a result today, particularly as they have won only twice in their last eight League games while making their way through two rounds of the Cup.
It is not just Robinson heading back to his old club that has sparked interest on this side of the Irish Sea. He has former Crusaders star O’Carroll alongside him, this week promoted from first-team coach to assistant manager and also in the last few days Northern Ireland goalkeeper Trevor Carson has joined the club on loan.
That has swollen the Ulster contingent in the squad to three, with Ryan McLaughlin and Alfie McCalmont certain to start. Carson could also be handed an immediate debut.
“Quite possible,” said Robinson. “I don’t think it is any secret that we have conceded way too many goals hence why we are where we are in the League at this moment in time.
“We score a lot of goals and we concede a lot of goals. Trevor will certainly play a part in some way — he will definitely be in the squad.
“Trevor is a top goalkeeper — a top international goalkeeper who has been so unfortunate with injuries and illness and that’s probably the only reason why we have got him here.
“He has got himself back and in a strong mind-space as well and this puts him in the shop window again.
“He didn’t get a game at Dundee United, but they have a top goalkeeper there so there’s no shame in that. Trevor certainly will be looking to kickstart his career again.”
McCalmont, on loan from Leeds, has ambitions to play in the Premier League and facing the might of Spurs will give the four-times-capped midfielder a taste of what he needs to do to make the breakthrough.
“Alfie did very well in League Two with Oldham last season,” said Robinson. “I have known him from the Northern Ireland set-up and he is somebody who I have kept tabs on and followed for a long time.
“He has had some very good games for us. He is still a young player learning the game. He presses with great intensity, as you would expect coming from (Marcelo) Bielsa at Leeds and a very talented boy on the ball.
“We are hoping that he adds more goals to his game, which he did last season and hasn’t quite replicated that. He is a kid with a big future.”
If his immediate future includes an FA Cup win over Tottenham, he might be talked about as much as his manager.