Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Saturday, 20 October 2007 17:30 UK

Atkinson opts for Halesowen Town

Ron Atkinson unveiled at Halesowen Town
Ron Atkinson has not worked in the West Midlands since 1996

The controversial former football manager and television pundit Ron Atkinson has joined non-league Halesowen Town as director of football.

Atkinson, 68, resigned from ITV in 2004 over racist remarks he made about Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly after a Champions' League semi-final.

It is his first job in the West Midlands since he left Coventry City 11 years ago.

His previous clubs include Man Utd, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa.

Earlier this year, he was briefly director of football at Kettering Town before leaving when manager Morell Maison was sacked.

'Rocks for brains'

The pair have now been re-united at Halesowen Town, where Maison is the manager.

Atkinson, who lives in nearby Barnt Green, Worcestershire, said: "If you'd have said to me this time last week that I'd be here I'd have said you must have rocks for brains.

"Morell said to me 'How do you fancy coming to Halesowen?' I burst out laughing, I said 'Why's that?' He said 'Well I'm in charge there and you always said you'd come and help me, so after a couple of days I said 'Oh go on then'.

"I'll be coming to as many games as commitments allow.

"I don't think it's a defined role... whatever help I can give him in respect of this particular job that he's got I'll do that."

Club chairman Nigel Pitt said: "They get on well, they're both larger than life characters, a lot of banter, so they're a good working team.

"We're just hoping that rubs off on everyone around the club. I'm sure it will."

Atkinson leaves post at Kettering
19 Apr 07 |  Football
Big Ron makes racism documentary
15 Jul 04 |  England
Desailly sorry for Atkinson
10 May 04 |  Chelsea
Atkinson quits over racist slur
22 Apr 04 |  Entertainment

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