I was shocked to wake up to a phone call from Free Radio early on Monday morning informing me that former Villa striker Dalian Atkinson had died of a heart attack after being tasered by police during an incident in Telford. To say I was shocked is an understatement because the reality is I was left numb. Now I was not a close friend of Dalian but professionally had interviewed him many times and on occasion had been in his company and found him to be polite friendly and always with a smile on his face.
He was a superb striker and of course everyone is talking about his wonderful solo goal against Wimbledon at Crystal Palace in 1992 without doubt one of if not the best ever goal seen in the Premier League.
He also scored one of Villas goals in the superb League Cup Final win over Manchester United at Wembley.
However I am sure his two goals in the semi-final against Tranmere in both legs of the semi-final would be uppermost in Villa supporter’s minds when it comes to remembering Dalian at this sad time.
If it wasn’t for his 94th minute goal in the first leg at Prenton Park when Villa were trailing 3-0 and his late goal in the second leg at Villa Park to take it to a penalty shootout as Villa were on the verge of going out then Villa fans would not have had that memorable day out at Wembley.
I have no idea what went on I Telford or any details other than Dalian lost his life which is extremely sad and devastating for his family and for the world of football which we know is a small place. RIP Dalian.