Ron Atkinson is a former professional footballer and manager who managed some of the biggest clubs in England. Although an extremely talented player, making 384 appearances for Oxford United, it will be his managerial expertise that Atkinson will be most remembered for. An expert in teamwork, he now provides invigorating after dinner speeches in which he discusses a range of topics such as the importance of teamwork. Playing all of his professional games for Oxford, Atkinson was an extremely dedicated and loyal player throughout his career. A captain for many years, he was the first ever footballer to captain a football club from the Southern League all the way through the three divisions of the Football League.
He started his managerial career at Kettering Town in 1971 and worked his way through the leagues. After having successful periods at a number of clubs, Atkinson was appointed the Manchester United manager in 1981. He was extremely successful with the club and has been dubbed the second best manager at the club since Matt Busby. To be held in such high record epitomises just how incredible Atkinson was as a manager and how well-respected he is within the football industry. Atkinson guided United to two FA Cups and five consecutive top four finishes in the league. This meant he was the most successful United manager since Matt Busby.
Atkinson went on to manage clubs such as Aston Villa and Spanish giants Atlético Madrid before finishing his managerial career at Nottingham Forest. Since retiring as a manager, Atkinson has spent a lot of time working as a pundit for ITV Sport. Here he has developed his presenting and speaking skills, allowing him to provide his fantastic knowledge but to a high standard too. A legend in the industry, Atkinson has been to focus on a number of documentaries and media features, including the 2006 Sky One documentary ‘Big Ron Manager’. As a football speaker, Atkinson speaks of his wonderful managerial and playing career but often discusses a number of vital topics. He tends to discuss the importance of teamwork and leadership but also delves into topics such as managerial tactics and peak performance.