Vale Peter Atkinson, a true gentleman of the game
PETER Atkinson, who was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA's Hall of Merit for Players in 2012, has died at the age of 82.
Peter passed away on August 6.
Born in the English seaside town of Blackpool, where the legendary Stanley Matthews performed so many of his amazing feats for the local club, Peter migrated to Western Australia at the age of 15 in 1949.
Although he was no wizard of the wing like Matthews, the tall and determined Atkinson became a very strong defender and enjoyed a prolific career in WA with a host of top clubs.
He first came to prominence with Balmoral Rangers and went to on play for South Perth, North Perth, East Fremantle Tricolore, Kiev and Cracovia.
Atkinson won the league's top award, the Fairest and Best, in 1961 and 1962 and also gained the second division's Top Player prize in helping Kiev to promotion in 1964.
He won D'Orsogna Cup medals with Tricolore (1961 and 1962) and two league runners-up medals.
In a period when State games were few, including the five-year FIFA embargo on visits by foreign teams to Australia (1959-64), Peter was selected 11 times for WA.
His first international taste was in 1957 against the Hungarian side Fernecvaros and ended with his final State call-up in 1966 in the thrilling clash against Italian champions AS Roma in which he gave the best display of his career.
Apart from being inducted into the Hall of Merit, he was also selected as one of WA's Century of Champions when tributes were paid to the best 100 State team players at a function in 2004.
"Peter was a lovely man - a true gentleman," said Football Hall of Fame committee member John O'Connell.
"We both had a close link with Tricolore.
"Peter, accompanied by his wife, liked nothing better than to join other Hall of Famers as guests of the Perth Glory on numerous occasion. He will be sorely missed."
PICTURED: Peter Atkinson (left) receives his Hall of Merit trophy from State Government representative John Castrilli in 2012.