Born in Paddington, New South Wales on 17 April 1926, Milton Atkinson was a professional rugby league footballer for the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. An Easts junior, Milton Atkinson's rugby league career started after World War II. He served in the RAAF between 1944-1946 as a Leading Aircraftman. After the war he joined Eastern Suburbs, playing two first grade seasons in 1947 and 1949. Atkinson shifted to South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1950 and stayed until 1952, but during this period he won two premierships with Souths in 1950 and 1951.