Born in Nether Green, Eastwood on 7 June 1878, John Atkinson, tall and well-built, was selected for the Notts Colts XXII in 1898, in which year he joined the Trent Bridge ground staff. His First-Class debut came in July 1899 for Notts v MCC at Lord’s. Atkinson, a left-arm slow bowler and left-hand bat, was seconded from the ground staff to Mansfield CC in 1899; he appeared in three First-Class Notts games in 1900 and 1901, his final match being v South Africans at Trent Bridge in3 July 1901. His bowling never really came off in county cricket, due mainly to nervousness. In various minor matches, however, he showed fair form and for Notts Club and Ground v Leicestershire Club and Ground in May 1901, he took 8-20 in Leicestershire’s first innings.
In seven First-Class matches he scored 40 runs @5.00 and took 10 wickets @23.60. His highest score was 19 against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 1900 and his best innings figures were 4-20 v Derbyshire at Chesterfield in 1900.
At the end of 1901 he left the Notts ground staff and in 1902 became professional for Todmorden in the Lancashire League and, later, coach at Marlborough School. In 1909 he moved from Eastwood to Bentley near Doncaster and took the first wicket to fall on the Bentley cricket ground. By occupation he was a miner with the Barber, Walker Colliery Company.
Atkinson died on 20 November 1951 at Bentley, aged 73 years. Wicket-keeper Fred Wyld (Notts 1868-81) was his uncle.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 259