Paul Atkinson (footballer, born 1966)
|Full name||Paul Atkinson|
|Date of birth||19 January 1966|
|Place of birth||Chester-le-Street, England|
|1989||→ Stafford Rangers (loan)||0||(0)|
|1990||→ Hartlepool United (loan)||11||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Paul Atkinson (born 19 January 1966) is an English former footballer who played on the left-side of midfield. He appeared three times for England Youth in a tournament in 1983, and played another five games the following year. He began his career at Sunderland, and helped the "Black Cats" to the Third Division title in 1987–88. He joined Port Vale for a £20,000 fee in June 1988, but soon became blighted by injury. He was loaned out to Stafford Rangers and Hartlepool United to help to regain his fitness, but was forced to retire from professional football on medical advice in January 1991.
Atkinson began his career at Sunderland, as Alan Durban's "Black Cats" posted a 13th-place finish in the First Division in 1983–84. The club suffered relegation in the 1984–85 season under the stewardship of Len Ashurst. Lawrie McMenemy then took charge at Roker Park, but failed to halt the club's decline, as Sunderland finished 18th in the Second Division in 1985–86, before suffering relation in 1986–87 after defeat to Gillingham in the play-offs. New boss Denis Smith then led the club straight back up as champions of the Third Division in 1987–88. Smith claimed Atkinson squandered his natural talents by overeating junk food.
Atkinson signed for John Rudge's Port Vale in June 1988 for a £20,000 fee. He scored a brace on his debut in a 3–1 win over Preston North End at Deepdale on 27 August. An ankle injury blighted his career however, and loans spells with Stafford Rangers (January 1989) and Cyril Knowles's Hartlepool United (March 1990) failed to revitalise his career. He played six games for the "Valiants" in 1988–89, and eleven Fourth Division games in his loan spell at Victoria Park. He was forced to retire from professional football on medical advice in January 1991.
- Sourced from Paul Atkinson profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
|Hartlepool United (loan)||1989–90||Fourth Division||1||1||0||0||0||0||11||1|
|Port Vale||1988–89||Third Division||4||3||0||0||2||0||6||3|
- with Sunderland
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 11. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
- Kent, Jeff (1989). Port Vale Promotion Chronicle 1988-1989: Back to Where We Once Belonged!. Witan Books. p. 13. ISBN 0-9508981-3-9.
- Smith, Denis (2008), Just One of Seven, Know The Score Books, p. 202, ISBN 978-1-84818-504-3