Inside forward Atkinson was born in Hull and played for several local junior sides in his teenage years before joining the Tigers on amateur terms in August 1949. He signed professional terms in May 1950, but was competing for a first team place against a myriad of talent assembled by superstar player-manager Raich Carter. Consequently Atkinson had to wait until the start of the 1953/54 season before he made his debut, though it wasn’t until after a further spell out of the first team and a return in March 1954 that Charlie scored his first City goal, in a 2-3 defeat away at Rotherham. Atkinson started 1954/55 season as makeshift left back, and for two more seasons he filled in dutifully when called upon as a utility man. His final goal for City came in a January 1956 FA Cup replay at home to Aston Villa. Atkinson left City after seven seasons in the 1956 close season.
Charlie moved to Bradford Park Avenue where he showed similar loyalty and longevity. In eight years he made over 350 appearances in all competitions and scored 50 league goals. His 339 league appearances for The Avenue remains an all-time club record. In June 1964 he moved from Holme Top to Manningham, signing for Bradford City. In the final season of his career he made 16 starts for the Bantams.
After football Atkinson settled in the Pudsey area of Bradford, worked as a bookmaker and was for many years the president of Bradford Park Avenue, by now a non-league phoenix club. His son Paul Atkinson was born in 1961 and played in the 1984 FA Cup Final for Watford. Charlie died in Pudsey in November 2010.
Date/Place of Birth: 17 December 1932, Hull
Hull City First Game: 19 August 1953, Birmingham City A (Division Two), 20 years, 245 days old
Hull City Final Game: 21 January 1956, Bristol Rovers A (Division Two), 23 years, 35 days old
Hull City (1949-1956), Bradford Park Avenue (1956-1964), Bradford City (1964-1965)
Hull City Record
Career: 39 apps, 3 goalsCharlie Atkinson