It is with an extremely heavy heart that Blyth Spartans AFC confirm the retirement of Robbie Dale after 17 consecutive seasons at the club.
Robbie hangs up his boots aged 36 as Blyth’s all-time record appearance holder with 680 and ranks second behind Brian Slane in the goalscoring charts with 212.
It goes without saying he has achieved legendary status at Croft Park and stands as the greatest ever player to wear the green and white shirt.
Dale first burst onto the scene back in March 2005 after scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Wakefield and Emley. From what he has accomplished since then is simply unprecedented.
Robbie racked up a number of individual honours – too many to name, not least being voted second in the Northern Premier’s greatest-ever players list behind Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
He has written himself into FA Cup history too, twice appearing in the third round in 2009 and 2015 – the latter including a brace against Championship outfit Birmingham City.
Aside from tormenting full-backs and even filling in as goalkeeper, Robbie captained Blyth from 2014 – going on to lift the Northern Premier League and Northumberland Senior Cup double in 2017.
All in all, he earned a reputation of being known as the greatest player never to turn pro.
Sadly, Robbie has advised us that due to new work commitments in these uncertain times, he has decided to step away from football and we fully respect his decision.
We wholeheartedly thank Robbie for everything he has done for Blyth Spartans and wish him all the very best in his retirement from football.
The door always remains open for Robbie Dale at Croft Park. The club will look to honour him across the course of the season and in many, many years to come.
Tony Platten, chairman of Blyth Spartans said: “Robbie has been an inspiration to the club over his long and illustrious career and his exploits will be talked about long into the future.
“The FA Cup figures highly in the esteem to which Blyth Spartans is held throughout world football and Robbie played a vitally important part in the two third round ties against Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City that I have been privileged to enjoy.
“Robbie’s thoughts inevitably had to turn to his future career outside football and the implications of how the current Covid crisis might affect this are obvious.
“I am sure I speak for everyone connected with the club in thanking him for his outstanding contribution to the history of the club and wishing him well in his future.
“Once we are free from the current crisis I am sure we will have a full house at Croft Park for a testimonial match to celebrate his footballing career at Blyth.”
We are asking former managers, coaches and players who worked alongside Robbie to send a short video message into email@example.com, congratulating him on his quite remarkable career.