|Date of birth||19 January 1971|
|Place of birth||Darlington, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Darlington 1883 (assistant manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Atkinson began his career with Sunderland and played in the 1992 FA Cup Final. After 141 appearances he lost his first team place in 1996 and was loaned to Carlisle United. Later in the year he joined Darlington, where he remained until his retirement from professional football in 2002.
His 13-year playing career brought almost 400 league and cup appearances and 6 England caps at under-21 level. He made his debut coming on as a substitute for Mark Blake in a friendly against Wales on 5 December 1991 at Prenton Park. He was also part of the England under-21 team that won the 1991 Toulon Tournament, beating the hosts, France, 1–0 in the final.
Atkinson had a brief spell working for Darlington's Centre of Excellence before spending five seasons as assistant manager of Northern League Division One club Newton Aycliffe. He was appointed assistant manager at Spennymoor Town in February 2012, and took up the corresponding role at Darlington 1883 three months later.
- Football League Second Division play-offs runner-up:[a] 1990
- FA Cup runner-up: 1992
- Football League First Division winner: 1995–96
- Toulon Tournament: 1991
- Courtney, Barrie (10 March 2004). "England – U-21 International Results 1986–1995 – Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Simpson, Ray (28 February 2012). "Atkinson appointed Spennymoor assistant". The Northern Echo (Darlington). Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Stoddart, Craig (28 May 2012). "Quakers appoint Gray as new boss". The Northern Echo (Darlington). Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Past Managers: 1985–1995". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
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