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Dalian Atkinson Legacy Fund to boost young sporting talent

In collaboration with the family of the late ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson, Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Community Foundation are proud to launch a new legacy fund in honour of the esteemed athlete.

Telford & Wrekin Council donated £10,000 to kick-start the fund in the run up to a private ceremony where Dalian’s family unveiled a memorial bench, on what would have been his 56th birthday.

Dalian Atkinson, who grew up in Telford, rose to prominence as a professional footballer, captivating fans with his extraordinary speed, skill, and passion for the game. Beginning his career with Ipswich Town in 1985, he subsequently showcased his talent at Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa, where he became a beloved figure among supporters. His iconic solo goal against Wimbledon in 1992 remains etched in football history, earning him recognition as one of the Premier League’s most electrifying strikers.

Tragically, Dalian Atkinson passed away in 2016 at the age of 48. In response to his family’s desire to commemorate his achievements, the memorial bench – which is adorned with words and images honouring Dalian’s life and contributions to football – serves as a symbol of remembrance as well as achievement and success.

The Dalian Atkinson Legacy Fund, which is being managed by Shropshire Community Foundation, will support local young people aged 5-25 to further their sporting talents and achieve their own goals and dreams.

Elaine Atkinson, Dalian’s sister said: ‘We are pleased to see this bench installed in memory of and in recognition of Dalian’s prestigious football career. He entertained the fans with his charismatic, cheeky personality. We are very proud of him and this is a fitting tribute to his memory.”

Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies said: “We are honoured to unveil this memorial bench in tribute to Dalian Atkinson, a true Telford talent. I hope it serves as a reminder to any young person in Telford and Wrekin, that if you’re good at something, you should embrace it and see just what you can achieve. Dalian’s legacy fund will unlock the sporting potential of young people across the borough and beyond.”

Selina Graham, Deputy Lieutenant for Shropshire and Chair of Trustees at Shropshire Community Foundation said: “We are proud to be collaborating with Dalian’s family, Telford & Wrekin Council and so many amazing clubs and individuals.  Dalian is no longer with us in person, but his legend lives on and this legacy fund will improve the lives of others in his name for many years to come.  It is a wonderful thing to do, to remember someone by helping others”.

The memorial bench is situated alongside Trench Pool in Telford, where Dalian spent his formative years honing his football skills.

People who would like to donate to the Dalian Atkinson Legacy Fund can do so on JustGiving, please click here.

Find out more about the Dalian Atkinson Legacy Fund here.