Skegness, Lincolnshire born right back Arthur Atkin signed for Lincoln City from hometown non league club Skegness in 1912 and made his Football League debut against Barnsley in April 1913, his only appearance of his debut season. He featured twice further the following season, then not at all until after the resumption of football after the First World War in November 1919, when he established himself as a first team regular at left half. However he missed the whole of 1920-21 before re-establishing his first team position at right back in August 1921.
He continued to have spells at both left and right half as well as at right back, and also on occasion played at centre half and left back, where he played his last four games for The Imps in April and May 1924. He made a total of exactly 100 appearances scoring 2 goals, both coming in the space of 3 games from left half early in 1920, until he moved to non league Boston Town in 1924.