PFA shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of Dalian Atkinson

The PFA is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Dalian Atkinson's untimely death.

During a 16-year career, the Telford born striker played for Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa and Fenerbahce, winning one cap for England B.

Dalian began his career at Ipswich Town in 1987. It wasn’t long before the young teenager impressed Sheffield Wednesday manager Ron Atkinson who paid £450,000 for him in 1989.

Atkinson then moved to Spain, signing with Real Sociedad for £1.7million, becoming the first black player in the club’s history. He scored 12 goals during his debut season in La Liga, however the following year moved back to the Midlands joining Aston Villa in 1991.

It was whilst at Aston Villa that Atkinson scored an iconic goal solo effort against Wimbledon. The goal won the BBC Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season, and remains one of the greatest Premier League goals of all time. it was a demonstration of pace, power, awareness and precision.

Atkinson secured his name in the club’s history books, scoring in the 1994 League Cup Final as Aston Villa beat Manchester United 3-1 final at Wembley.

The thoughts of everyone at the PFA are with Dalian’s family, friends and former teammates at this time.

The football community pays its respect to Dalian on Twitter: