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Dalian Atkinson: La Real pay tribute to former striker

The Basque club were deeply affected by the loss of Atkinson, who was adored by fans during the season he spent in attack alongside John Aldridge.

Dalian Atkinson: La Real pay tribute to former striker
JUAN FLOR DIARIO AS

Real Sociedad were devastated to learn of the death of Dalian Atkinson earlier this week. Atkinson spent just one season with La Real but was an instant hit with fans, who absolutely adored him.

Minute's applause

And the Basque club showed that they have never forgotten him by paying their own tribute in Sunday’s LaLiga opener against Real Madrid. The Anoeta faithful observed a round of applause for Atkinson in minute nine of the match, in honour of the shirt number which he wore during most of his time in Donosti (John Aldridge, his partner in attack, wore the No.10).

'El Txipirón'

Atkinson, who was affectionately known as 'El Txipirón' (the Basque word for a small squid) during his spell with La Real, scored against Real Madrid when the two sides met at the old Atocha stadium in October 1990. After the game coach John Toshack applauded Atkinson, who was replaced by Luis Pérez  just after the hour, and midfielder Kevin Richardson for their performances in the 1-1 draw.

Famous strike against Barcelona

A few weeks later, Atkinson scored against the league leaders Barcelona in Atocha and it was against the same rivals who he scored one of the goals which Real Sociedad fans remember most - turning Ronald Koeman inside out before blasting inside the top corner in the 3-1 win. That season he ended as the team's second top scorer on 12 goals, five behind Aldo.

How AS reported the 1-1 draw between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid in October 1990.