Age 74; Star Sign Pisces; Home Town Birmingham;
Ronald “Ron” Atkinson is a football player turned team manager, who later went on to become a football pundit.
Atkinson became player-manager of non-league Kettering Town in 1971 at the age of 32. His success there led to a move to the league with Cambridge United, going on to win the then fourth Division in 1977.
At the start of 1978, Atkinson moved to First Division West Bromwich Albion. He went on to manage clubs including Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry City, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forrest and Atletico Madrid. During his career, Ron picked up a number of trophies including two FA Cup wins.
Atkinson was already working as a pundit for ITV Sport and, after leaving management, he continued in this role. For a number of years he covered most of the channel’s live matches, sometimes as a studio guest, but more often as the “ex-football insider” member of a two-man commentary team.
His commentaries with Clive Tyldesley provided the basis for late-1990s and early-2000s ITV Champions League nights. He also fronted two series of Extra Time With Ron Atkinson,with Ron interviewing football personalities like Kevin Keegan, Terry Venables and Martin O’Neill.
Ron Atkinson’s media work came to an abrupt halt on 21st April 2004, when he was urged to resign from ITV after making an unacceptable comment about Chelsea player Marcel Desailly. He also left his job as a columnist for The Guardian” by mutual agreement”.