West Mercia Police Constable Benjamin Monk denies the murder and manslaughter of 48-year-old Mr Atkinson and is standing trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The 42-year-old officer was charged in 2019 with murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter after an inquiry into Mr Atkinson’s death in 2016 in the Trench area of Telford.
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The constable’s colleague, Pc Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, is also on trial accused of assault.
She has pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging she assaulted Mr Atkinson occasioning actual bodily harm before his death on August 15 2016.
Mr Atkinson, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, died after an incident which allegedly happened near his father’s house, in Meadow Close, Trench.
Mr Atkinson, of Little Dawley, died at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital shortly afterwards.
A jury sworn in at Birmingham Crown Court last week was told the case is likely to last between six and eight weeks, and could run into the start of July.