It was from an inconspicuous appearance as a substitute in the home match against Bury in March 1979 that Roberts built an impressive tally of 487 League & Cup appearances for the Tigers, thus making him the holder of the highest aggregate appearances by a 'local' lad. Those appearances spanned a period of 11 years during which he scaled the peaks and plumbed the troughs of the club's fortunes. He experienced relegation, promotion, financial trauma and a host of other adventures in that time. He rose from the ranks of the juniors to captain the club on countless occasions, yet throughout these various periods of triumph and disaster, Roberts never wavered from the high standards of loyalty to the club that were to be a trademark of his personality.
Roberts's football was built on a foundation of determination, commitment and skill. The components may have varied slightly in their strength over time, but they never diluted his talent or tarnished his image as a Tiger; both in the way he played and the manner he led his team. Although small in inches he was big in character. Throughout his career at Boothferry Park he played in defence, midfield and attack. That he could do so was testimony to his versatility. That he did so for nearly 500 games is an endorsement of his consistency. The figure would have been greater but for injury, which eventually forced his retirement.