Where are they now? 1970s’ Oldham midfielder Ian Robins turns landlord and swaps six-second goals for swift pints

By Matt Naylor

It took Ian Robins six seconds to open the scoring for Oldham Athletic in their emphatic 6-0 win over Barnsley in February, 1972.

Over forty years on, MM tracked down Robins to ask him how life has changed since his playing days, where he had spells at Bury and Oldham among others.

In his 13-year career Robins collected two division winners’ medals as well as being voted by his peers into the 1979-80 PFA Fourth Division Team of the Year, which he described as ‘a real honour’.

Things are different now. The Bury-born 61-year-old has been running Bentley’s pub on King’s Street in Wigan for 12 years, where pouring a pint in six seconds would be a push.

Regretfully, his duties running the bar tie him up on Saturday afternoons these days, so he admits he does not get many opportunities to see any of his former teams in action.

“I take note of all of their results,” he explains.

“I don’t get too much of a chance to go to the games, but I do try to keep an eye out for them.”

Robins was 21 when he scored the fastest of his 46 goals for Oldham, but says at the time he did not think too much of it.

“It was just a matter of scoring and getting on with it,” he says earnestly.

“If it had happened now, with the media the way it is, there probably would have been a lot more interest in it.

“Back then, though the world was a different place.”

It may have happened over forty years ago, but Robins still recalls the goal as if it were yesterday.

“I still remember how quick it was,” says the pub landlord.

“I remember lobbing the Barnsley keeper just as he brought me down. While the physio was treating me, I asked the referee how long into the game I’d scored.

“We didn’t have electronic timers back then, but the referee said ‘definitely not more than six seconds’.”

Image courtesy of Oldham Athletic press office, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles