Atkinson had an eventful spell in charge at Villa Park.
Atkinson arrived at the club with a decent pedigree having achieved two FA Cup triumphs with Manchester United and guided Sheffield Wednesday to League Cup success a matter of months before he left Hillsborough.
The official Aston Villa website reported that the appointment had been greeted with euphoria as he returned to the club he was at as a youngster, but unfortunately for him he never played a first-team game.
The early days of his tenure were pretty bright. After finishing in 17th place in 1991, the next season saw some substantial progression with Villa finishing in seventh place in the final season of the old first division.
The inaugural Premier League campaign would bring about something of a title challenge with Villa finishing runners-up, although they finished 10 points behind eventual winners - and Atkinson's former club - Manchester United.
Europe was, unfortunately, a struggle for Atkinson as his side never got beyond the early rounds in the UEFA Cup.
The 1993/94 season saw the side tumble down the table somewhat in the Premier League, finishing the camaign in 10th place. However, the highlight of the season would be some silverware, as Atkinson led his side to League Cup glory - culminating in a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the final at Wembley.
The following November, however, would see Atkinson sacked and replaced by Brian Little, bringing to an end an eventful spell in charge at Villa Park.
Little managed to guide the club away from the threat of relegation.