Dalian Robert Atkinson (born 21 March 1968 in Telford, Shropshire) is an English former footballer who played as a striker in the Football League and Premier League for Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Manchester City, in La Liga for Real Sociedad, in Ligue 1 for Metz, in the Turkish Super League for Fenerbahçe, in Saudi Arabia for Al-Ittihad, and in the K-League for Daejeon Citizen and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Atkinson is probably most often remembered for his magnificent solo goal against Wimbledon in a 3-2 away win on 3 October 1992, which won a BBC Match of the Day Goal of the Season competition for the 1992-93 season, the first season of the new FA Premier League, when Villa finished runners-up.
He is also fondly remembered by Aston Villa fans for his inspirational performance and crucial goal in the 1994 League Cup final win against Manchester United.
Atkinson first came to prominence at Ipswich Town as a teenager, impressing seasoned experts with his speed and daring which included an incredible hat-trick against a Middlesbrough side containing Gary Pallister and future Ipswich captain Tony Mowbray at the heart of their defence in the 1987-88 season.
In 1989, manager Ron Atkinson (no relation) brought him to Sheffield Wednesday for £450,000 where he formed a fine front partnership with David Hirst for a single season before moving to Real Sociedad for £1.7million.
He was an ever-present in the league for Sheffield Wednesday in his only season there, scoring 10 goals but being unable to prevent them from being relegated.
After joining Aston Villa for £1.6million in July 1991, he became one half of another impressive partnership, the so-called D-Men (AKA Deadly Duo), alongside Dean Saunders, when Saunders arrived from Liverpool a year after Atkinson arrived there from Real Sociedad. The partnership was broken in 1995 when both players were sold to Turkish clubs - Saunders to Galatasaray and Atkinson to Fenerbahçe for £1.7 million.
However, despite an encouraging start, Atkinson failed to settle in Turkey and had loan spells with FC Metz and Manchester City before leaving in 1997 and winding down his career with spells in Saudi Arabia and South Korea, finally retiring as a player in 2001.