Newhall, Derbyshire born right back Jack Atkin signed for Derby County from Newhall Swifts in 1907 and made his debut for Derby at Barnsley that September. By 1909 he had established himself as a first team regular and played all but 3 games as they won the Second Division Championship in 1912, being ever present the following season as Derby returned to the top flight. Although relegated in 1914 they immediately bounced back as Second Division Champions in 1915 before the cessation of peacetime football due to the onset of the First World War, during which Atkin served as a gunner in The Royal Garrison Artillery.
On the resumption of peacetime football, Atkin returned to The Baseball Ground and was an ever present in Derby’s 1919-20 campaign, scoring his only goal from open play that season, scored in a 2-1 win over Everton in April 1920, to which he would add 2 penalties the following season in another relegation year for Derby. His final game came in a 1-6 FA Cup tie drubbing by Aston Villa in January 1922, and he retired after 3 goals in 325 matches over 15 years for Derby County.