Hunslet Warriors dedicate junior rugby match to coach PC Mick Atkinson's memory

PC Mick Atkinson
PC Mick Atkinson
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The rugby league club where police dog handler PC Mick Atkinson coached junior players is holding a match in his honour.

Mick, known as Aky, was found dead at a house in Oulton on Sunday. He had recently become the father of a baby daughter and served with North Yorkshire Police's dog section.

Tributes paid to police dog handler PC Mick Atkinson
Mick coached the under eights side at Hunslet Warriors ARLFC, and was also a passionate Leeds Rhinos fan who regularly attended matches at Headingley.

Hunslet's game against Oulton Raiders under eights this Sunday will be played in his memory.

A statement on the club's Facebook page said:-

"We are deeply saddened by our loss - he was a fantastic, bubbly person and he was able to reach the most challenging child. We are struggling with our loss but we are still going ahead with our home game against Oulton in his honour and doing a minute's applause. He loved the game of rugby, he once played and was a passionate Rhinos South Stander and Hunslet supporter who delivered the passion of the game to our Warriors. We want to say a big thanks to his family for letting him be part of our team, as it was time (with him) they lost at training and match days twice a week. So to one of the greatest coaches - sleep tight. It's OK to talk."

North Yorkshire Police have retired Mick's collar number, 1066, after his death. He had been with the force for 17 years.

A Crowdfunding page set up to raise money for mental health charities in his memory has collected £3,500 in donations - exceeding its original target by over £1,000. Click here to donate.

The circumstances of his death are not suspicious and the case has been passed to coroner.