The Club are sad to announce the passing of former right back Denis Atkins on Tuesday (13 September 2016) of this week, following a short illness. He was 77 years of age.
Although born in Bradford, Denis in fact joined Huddersfield Town in 1955 and he made over two hundred appearances for The Terriers.
During that time he played alongside some great players such as Denis Law.
He was also a teammate of several other players who had either played for Bradford City, or would do so in the future. Derek Stokes and Allan Gilliver, who would both make significant contributions to our side, were both playing colleagues along with goalkeeper John Oldfield, World Cup winner Ray Wilson, who would be Denis’ full back partner on numerous occasions, and another goalie Ray Wood.
Denis joined City in March 1968 in one of the most unusual of transfer deals, player exchanges are common place in football, but a four player swap? It was virtually unheard of at the time.
Our right back Alec Smith and centre forward Paul Aimson were transferred to Huddersfield, and in exchange we received some cash plus Denis Atkins and centre forward Tony Leighton.
We lost two good players yes, but we received two experienced professionals who made a massive impact on our squad, which would achieve promotion in 1968-69.
Denis made 122 league and cup appearances for us without troubling the scorers.
He retired after the 1970-71 season to become a teacher.
He was predeceased by his lovely wife Beryl, and had three daughters Julie, Jill (who represented Britain at hockey and was an Olympic Games winner in Barcelona), Tracy, and a son Neil.
Our condolences are with the family at this difficult time.