Villa fans pay homage to former star Atkinson


London (AFP) – Aston Villa fans paid a moving tribute to former star striker Dalian Atkinson who died on Monday after being Tasered by British police.

The supporters — now watching Championship football the second tier of British football — broke into a minute’s applause in the 10th minute of their game on Tuesday against Huddersfield.

Atkinson wore the No10 shirt when he led their forward line in the early 1990’s and won the inaugural Premier League goal of the season.

Fans at Villa Park also revived memories of a witty and famous goal celebration of Atkinson’s — after a remarkable goal against Wimbledon — as they raised umbrellas around the ground.

Atkinson, 48, went into cardiac arrest as he was being taken to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital after being Tasered by the police on Monday.

Atkinson began his career at Ipswich Town, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday in 1989, where he made a name as a pacy and skilful striker despite the club’s relegation.

He scored for the England B team in 1990 in his only international appearance.

Atkinson then moved to Real Sociedad in Spain scoring 12 goals in one season before returning to England to play for Aston Villa.

He scored the club’s first ever goal in the Premier League on August 15, 1992, and won the league’s inaugural goal-of-the-season competition as Villa finished second.

Atkinson also scored the opening goal of the 1994 League Cup final as Villa beat Manchester United. He later played for Manchester City and also played in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Life post his playing career had not been kind to him and his family revealed he had been battling kidney problems and had a weak heart.   

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