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:
Shocked and Stunned to wake up to the death of @DalianAtkinson, a friend and mentor to me. He was a glass half full human being.— Ugo Ehiogu (@UgoEhiogu) August 15, 2016
Just heard news re my old team mate Dalian. Deepest condolences to his family. Only spoke to him last week as well. Sad sad news... #AVFC— Ian Taylor (@IanTaylor7) August 15, 2016
RIP Dalian Atkinson,at his best one of the very best.xmb— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) August 15, 2016
Sad to hear the news of Dalian Atkinson...My thoughts and condolences go out his family. RIP— Shaun Goater MBE (@OfficialSGoater) August 15, 2016
Terrible news about Dalian Atkinson. Losing his life after being tasered by police. Thoughts are with this fine footballer's family. #RIP— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 15, 2016