AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
James Archibald Atkinson
4 April 1896
Place of birth
Fitzroy North, VIC (3068)
11 June 1956 (aged 60)
Place of death
Beaconsfield, TAS (7270)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 45d
Last game: 29y 161d
Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 72 kg
State of origin
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 2,276th player to appear, 2,069th most games played, 10,557th most goals kickedFitzroy: 241st player to appear, 87th most games played, 895th most goals kicked
There was only one ‘fly in the ointment’ during the meeting. ‘Snowy’ Atkinson, in accepting his trophy as one of the best players for the season, said that it probably would be the last trophy he would receive from the Fitzroy club, as he had decided to go to Tasmania. He would value the trophy more as the last ho had received from a club In which he had spent many years of pleasurable service.¹
A hard-hitting, tenacious defender, Jim Atkinson had the misfortune to break virtually every bone in his body during an eventfully auspicious fourteen season league football career in two states. He began with Fitzroy in 1917, and was a key member of that club’s 1922 premiership-winning side, earning best afield accolades in the 11 point grand final win over Collingwood, when he played in a back pocket. Atkinson also won the Maroons’ best and fairest award that year, and captained the club in 1924 and 1925.
In 1926 he accepted the position of captain-coach of Lefroy, Tasmania, where he remained for the next four and a half seasons, gaining a reputation as one of the finest players in the league, and representing Tasmania at the 1927 Melbourne carnival. Strong overhead, and dashing, he was always conspicuous because of his blond mop of hair which gave rise to the obvious nickname of ‘Snowy’. Midway through the 1930 season he was forced to retire when the injuries that had dogged him throughout his career finally became completely debilitating. Ironically, Lefroy that year went on to win the premiership that had eluded them throughout Atkinson’s spell as coach.
A fine all round sportsman, ‘Snowy’ Atkinson also represented both Victoria and Tasmania on the cricket field.
Author - John Devaney
1. “The Herald`’, 26/7/26, page 16.