Dixie Dean

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Dixie Dean
Dixie Dean.jpg
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Ralph Dean
Date of birth(1907-01-22)22 January 1907[1]
Place of birthBirkenhead, Cheshire, England
Date of death1 March 1980(1980-03-01) (aged 73)
Place of deathLiverpool, England
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing positionCentre Forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1923–1925Tranmere Rovers30(27)
1925–1937Everton399(349)
1938–1939Notts County9(3)
1939Sligo Rovers7(10)
1940Hurst2(1)
Total447(390)
National team
1927–1932England16(18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
 
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Dixie Dean
Dixie Dean.jpg
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Ralph Dean
Date of birth(1907-01-22)22 January 1907[1]
Place of birthBirkenhead, Cheshire, England
Date of death1 March 1980(1980-03-01) (aged 73)
Place of deathLiverpool, England
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing positionCentre Forward
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1923–1925Tranmere Rovers30(27)
1925–1937Everton399(349)
1938–1939Notts County9(3)
1939Sligo Rovers7(10)
1940Hurst2(1)
Total447(390)
National team
1927–1932England16(18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William Ralph Dean (22 January 1907 – 1 March 1980), better known as Dixie Dean, was an English football player. Dean originally started his career with Birkenhead based Tranmere Rovers before moving on to Everton, the club he had supported as a child, where he became the most prolific goal-scorer in English football history. Dean played the majority of his career at Everton before injuries caught up with him and he moved on to new challenges at Notts County. He is best known for his exploits in 1927–28 season, which saw Dean score 60 league goals.

A statue of Dean was unveiled outside Goodison Park in May 2001. A year later Dean became one of 22 players inducted into the inaugural English football hall of fame. He was the first Everton player to wear the "number 9" shirt. Dean is regarded as one of the greatest pre-war sports heroes in British culture.[citation needed]

Contents

Early years

Dean was born at 325 Laird Street in Birkenhead, Cheshire, a major town on the Wirral Peninsula, on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool. Dean's family on both his mother and father's side hailed from Chester. He was the grandson of Ralph Brett, a train driver who drove the royal train during the reign of George V. Dean grew up as a supporter of Everton thanks to the efforts of his father, William Sr, who once took him to a match during the 1914–1915 title-winning season.

Dean's childhood coincided with the First World War and between the age of 7 and 11 he delivered cow's milk to local families as part of the "war effort: "Well, it was war time you see, so you were grafting all the time. I used to take milk out. I’d be up at half-past four in the morning and go down and get the ponies and the milk floats, then I’d come out to this place in Upton, between Upton and Arrowe Park, and Burgess’ Farm was there. We used to collect the milk in the big urns and take it out to people’s houses, serving it out of the ladle. And not only that, you had an allotment, and that was in school time. And there was no such thing as pinching and stealing and all that bloody caper. In those days, you were growing all that stuff and you needed it for the war time."[2]

Dean attended Laird Street School[3] but felt he was given no formal education. He said: "My only lesson was football[...]I used to give the pens out on Friday afternoons...the ink, and the chalks. That was the only job I had in school[...]I never had any lessons."[2]

When he turned 11, he voluntarily attended Albert (Memorial) Industrial school, a borstal school in Birkenhead because of the football facilities on offer. The Dean family home had little room for him due to family's size and Dean was happy with the arrangement as he could play for the borstal school's football team.[3] Dean falsely told fellow pupils he was caught stealing as he didn't want to be considered too virtuous by his fellow pupil.

He left school aged 14 and worked for Wirral Railway as an apprentice fitter, his father William Sr. also worked there. His father had been working on the railway since he was 11 years old[2] for Great Western Railway, he later became as a train driver before moving to Birkenhead to work for Wirral Railway and be closer to his future wife and William Jr.'s mother Sarah. Dean's father William Sr. would later retire with the company.[3]

Dean took on a night-job so that he could concentrate on his first love, football: "The other two apprentice fitters, they didn’t like the night job because there were too many bloody rats around there, coming out of the Anglo-oil company and the Vacamoil company...rats as big as whippets. So I took their night job, and of course, I could always have a game of football then."[2] Dean would kick the trespassing rats against the wall.

His manager at Wirral Railway's sons were directors of New Brighton A.F.C. and they had expressed an interested in signing Dean. Dean had told the club that he was not interested in signing and would later play for local team Pensby United in Pensby. It was at Pensby United where Dean attracted attention of a Tranmere Rovers scout.[2]

"Dixie" nickname

Dean and his family never appreciated the Dixie nickname and preferred people to call him or "Bill" or "Billy". The popular theory regarding how Dean acquired the nickname Dixie is that he did so in his youth, perhaps due to his dark complexion and hair which bore a resemblance to people from the Southern United States.[4] In Dean's obituary in The Times, Geoffrey Green suggested that the nickname was taken from a "Dixie" song that was in the chart during Dean's childhood as there was "something of the Uncle Tom about his features".[5]

Alternatively, the Tranmere Rovers's club historian Gilbert Upton uncovered evidence that the name 'Dixie' could be a corruption of his childhood nickname, Digsy – acquired from his approach to the children's game of tag, where Dean would dig his fist into the girl's back, hence 'Digsy'.[6]

Club career

Tranmere Rovers

Dean initially played for his local club Tranmere Rovers before moving to Everton. Whilst at Tranmere, he was on the receiving end of a tough challenge which resulted in him losing a testicle in a reserve game against Altrincham.[7][8] Immediately following the challenge, a team mate rubbed the area to soothe the pain. Dean shouted "Don't rub 'em, count 'em!".

He scored 27 goals in 30 league appearances for Tranmere Rovers and was attracting the interest of many clubs across England including Arsenal F.C. and Newcastle United F.C..[2]

Upon leaving Tranmere Rovers, the secretary Bert Cooke reneged on an agreement to pay 10% of the transfer fee to Dean. Dean was paid 1% of the fee which he gave to his parents who in turn donated it to Birkenhead General Hospital.

Everton

Dean had seen Everton play only once, his father took him to a league game when he 8 years old at Goodison Park. It was a dream come true for him when Everton secretary Thomas H. McIntosh arranged to meet him at the Woodside Hotel in 1925. Dean was so excited that he ran the 2.5 miles (4.0 km) distance from his home in the North End of Birkenhead to the riverside to meet him.[2]

He later revealed he was expecting a £300 signing fee to be given to his parents when he transferred to Everton but they received only £30. Tranmere Rovers' manager Bert Cooke told him "that’s all the League will allow". Dean appealed to John McKenna, the Football Association Chairman but was told "I’m afraid you’ve signed, and that’s it."[2]

Dean signed for Everton for £3,000, then a record fee received for Tranmere Rovers. The new signing made an immediate impact, scoring 32 goals in his first full season.

A motorcycling accident at Holywell in North Wales left Dean with a fractured skull and jaw in the summer 1926. Doctors were unsure of whether he would be able to play again. Fortunately he did do and in his very next game for Everton he scored using his head leading Evertonians to joke that the doctor had left the metal plate in Dean's head.

He is still the only player in English football to have scored 60 League goals in one season (1927–28).[9]

In the same season Everton won the First Division title. Although Everton were relegated to Second Division in 1930, Dean stayed with them, and the club subsequently won the Second Division in 1931, followed by the First Division again in 1932, and the FA Cup in 1933 (in which he scored in the final itself) – a sequence of success not matched since.

In December 1933, Dean issued a public appeal to have goods stolen returned to him. The Times newspaper issued a statement reading: "Dixie Dean, the Everton and England forward appeals to the thief who robbed him of an international cap and presentation clock to return them. His house in Caldy Road, Walton, Liverpool was entered in his absence over Christmas, and the thief left behind gold watches and jewelry (sic)." [10]

By then, Dean was captain of the side. However, the harsh physical demands of the game (as it was played then) took their toll, and he was dropped from the first team in 1937.

Notts County

Dean went on to play for Notts County for one season.

Sligo Rovers

At 32, Dean signed for Irish team Sligo Rovers in January 1939 in time to help the club with their FAI Cup campaign. On his arrival, the Railway Pub in Sligo town centre was said to be crammed with slack jawed locals, clamouring to catch a glimpse of the legendary player. He scored 10 goals in seven games for the Sligo club[11] including 5 in a 7–1 win over Waterford which remains a club record for the most goals scored in a single game.

He also played four Cup matches scoring once. His goal came in the final against Shelbourne which ended in a 1–1 draw, Shelbourne taking the replay 1-0. Subsequently, Dean’s runners up medal was stolen from his hotel room. On a return trip to Ireland to watch Rovers 39 years later in the 1978 FAI Cup final a package was delivered to his hotel room with the medal inside.

Ashton United

He ended his professional playing days with Hurst F.C. in the Cheshire County League 1939–40 season, managing two games and one goal before the outbreak of war truncated his career. He made his debut is a 4–0 loss to Stalybridge Celtic and 5,600 people attended the game and Ashton United took gate receipts of £140[12]

International career

Dean made his début for the England national football team against British rivals Wales at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham in February 1927, less than a month after his 20th birthday. His final game for England came in a 1–0 victory over Ireland in October 1932 at Blackpool F.C.'s Bloomfield Road when Dean was 25 years old.

Dean was involved in the 1927 and 1929 editions of the British Home Championship. During the 1927 edition, Dean four goals in his two games for England. He scored twice against Scotland at Hampden Park. Despite the loss, the Scots won the competition overall and applauded Dean for his efforts who finished the tournament as top scorer. In the 1929 edition he scored in his only outing against Ireland at Goodison Park.

The only international competitions outside of the British Home Championship during Dean's international career were the 1928 and 1936 Olympic Games and the inaugural FIFA World Cup which took place in 1930 but Great Britain nor England participated.

In total Dean represented England 16 times and scored 18 goals in 8 games including hat-tricks against Belgium and Luxembourg.

Endorsements

Dean in a 1928 newspaper advert for Wix Cigarettes
Dean in a 1928 newspaper advert for Wix Cigarettes

Dean was involved in many high-profile endorsements of products.

Personal life and post-football career

Dean became a Freemason in 1931 while still playing for Everton and England. He was initiated in Randle Holme Lodge, No. 3261 on 18 February 1931 in Birkenhead, Cheshire.[13]

After retiring, he went on to run the Dublin Packet pub in Chester, (Everton and the Dublin Packet commemorates this with memorabilia) and work at Littlewoods Football pools as a porter at their Walton Hall Avenue offices, where he was remembered by fellow workers as a quiet, unassuming man.

In January 1972 he was admitted to St. Catherine's hospital in Birkenhead suffering from effects of influenza.[14] He was released a month later.[15]

In November 1976 he had his right leg amputated due to a blood clot. His health was waning and Dean could not leave his house as much as he would like to.

Death

Dean died on 1 March 1980, aged 73 after suffering a heart attack at Everton's home ground Goodison Park whilst watching a match against their closest rivals, Liverpool. It was the first time that Dean had visited Goodison Park for several years due to ill-health.

He belongs to the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt.

The funeral took place at St. James Church on Laird Street, the street where he was born in Birkenhead.[17]

He was survived by his four children; William senior, Geoffrey, Ralph and Barbara.[18]He had outlived his wife Ethel, who died of a heart attack in 1974 after 43 years of marriage.[19]

Legacy

Dixie Dean Statue, outside the Park End of Goodison Park stadium

Dean was an internationally renowned figure. Military records show that during the Second World War an Italian prisoner of war was captured by British troops in the Western Desert, and told his captors "fuck your Winston Churchill and fuck your Dixie Dean",[20] exemplifying Dean's international status. One of the soldiers present was Liverpool-born Patrick Connelly who later went into show business using the pseudonym "Bill Dean".[20]

Everton arranged a testimonial for Dean in April 1964. Between 34 and 40 thousand people attended to see a Scotland XI and England XI, composed of players from Everton and Liverpool, compete.[21] The Scots won 3–1.[22]

England XIScotland XI
EnglandRankinScotlandLawrence
EnglandByrneScotlandBrown
EnglandMoranEnglandThompson
EnglandHarrisScotlandGabriel
EnglandLaboneScotlandYeats
EnglandKayScotlandStevenson
EnglandCallaghanScotlandScott
EnglandStevensScotlandSt. John
EnglandPickeringScotlandYoung
EnglandTempleWalesVernon
EnglandMorrisseyScotlandWallace

Dean's 1933 FA Cup winners medal sold for £18,213 at auction in March 2001.[23]

In May 2001, local sculptor Tom Murphy completed a statue of Dean which was erected outside the Park End of the stadium at a cost of £75,000 carrying the inscription, "Footballer, Gentleman, Evertonian".[24]

In 2002 Dean became an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame.[25]

There is an award named the "Dixie Dean" which is given to the Merseyside player of the year, it has been won by players of his former clubs Tranmere and Everton – and even Liverpool F.C.[26]

When asked if he thought his record of scoring 60 goals in a season would be broken, he said: "People ask me if that 60-goal record will ever be beaten. I think it will. But there's only one man who'll do it. That's the fellow that walks on the water. I think he's about the only one."

In total, Dean scored 383 goals for Everton, in 433 appearances, an exceptional strike-rate, including 37 hat-tricks. Modern scoring rates are lower, so both that record, and the record of 60 League goals in a season, are unlikely to be broken. He was also known as a very sporting player, never booked or sent off throughout his entire career despite suffering rough treatment and provocation from opponents.[27] Only Arthur Rowley has scored more English league career goals, although it should be noted that while Rowley made 619 appearances, scoring 433 goals (0.70 goals per game), Dean scored 379 goals in 438 games (0.87 goals per game)

Achievements

Everton

Sligo Rovers

Individual

Career statistics

ClubDivisionSeasonLeagueFA CupClub TotalInternationalTotal Games
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Notts CountyThird1938–3963--63--63
Third1937–3830--30--30
Total93--93--93
EvertonFirst1937–3851--51--51
First1936–373624434027--4027
First1935–362917--2917--2917
First1934–353826514327--4327
First1933–34129--129--129
First1932–333924654529104629
First1931–323845113946114047
Second1930–313739594248104348
First1929–302523222725--2725
First1928–292926103026313327
First1927–283960234163544667
First1926–2727214331245123636
First1925–263832214033--4033
First1924–2572--72--72
Total39934932284313771618447395
TranmereThird1924–252727303027--3027
Third1923–2430--30--30
Total3027303327--3327
Career Totals43837935284734071618489425

International goals

Goal NumberDate ScoredStadiumFinal scoreOpponentMinute goal scoredSource
112 February 1927Racecourse Ground3–3 WalesGoal 10'[28]
212 February 1927Racecourse Ground3–3 WalesGoal 58'[28]
32 April 1927Hampden Park2–1 ScotlandGoal 88'[29]
42 April 1927Hampden Park2–1 ScotlandGoal 85'[29]
511 May 1927Molenbeek9–1 BelgiumGoal 70'[30]
611 May 1927Molenbeek9–1 BelgiumGoal 47'[30]
711 May 1927Molenbeek9–1 BelgiumGoal 36'[30]
821 May 1927Stade de la Frontière5–2 LuxembourgGoal 18'[31]
921 May 1927Stade de la Frontière5–2 LuxembourgGoal 65'[31]
1021 May 1927Stade de la Frontière5–2 LuxembourgGoal 72'[31]
1126 May 1927Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir6–0 FranceGoal 24'[32]
1226 May 1927Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir6–0 FranceGoal 75'[32]
1317 May 1928Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir5–1 FranceGoal 27'[33]
1417 May 1928Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir5–1 FranceGoal 64'[33]
1519 May 1928Olympisch Stadion3–1 BelgiumGoal 64'[34]
1619 May 1928Olympisch Stadion3–1 BelgiumGoal 35'[34]
1722 October 1928Goodison Park2–1 IrelandGoal 77'[35]
189 December 1931Arsenal Stadium7–1 SpainGoal 60'[36]

References

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Dixie Dean". The FA. http://www.thefa.com/England/All-Teams/Players?p=334005. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Roberts, John. "Interview with John Roberts". SportingIntelligence.com. http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/03/09/dixie-dean-i-never-had-any-lessons-at-school-no-maths-no-english-nothing-except-football/. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Keith. p. 10. 
  4. ^ Prentice, David (23 January 2007). "Footballing world wakes up to Dixie". Liverpool Echo. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/everton-fc/everton-dixie-dean/2007/01/23/footballing-world-wakes-up-to-dixie-100252-18518223/2/. Retrieved 10 June 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ Green, Geoffrey. "Mr Dixie Dean". The Times: p. 16. 
  6. ^ Upton. 
  7. ^ Keith. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "The seven deadly sins of football: Wrath – From Big Jack Charlton to the fan's hand grenade at Millwall". The Guardian. 18 May 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/may/18/seven-sins-football-wrath-part-two. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "English League Leading Goalscorers 1889–2007". RSSSF. http://rsssf.com/tablese/engtops.html. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  10. ^ "News in brief". The Times: p. 7. 30 December 1933. 
  11. ^ Randles, Dave (9 December 2009). "The cameo that shaped Seamus". Liverpool Echo. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/amateur-football/2009/12/09/the-cameo-that-shaped-seamus-100252-25354309/. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dixie Dean". Ashton United. http://www.ashtonutd.com/dixiedean.htm. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  13. ^ Article "The Beautiful Game" by Patrick Kidd and Matthew Scanlan, published in "Freemasonry Today," No.11, Summer 2010
  14. ^ "News in brief". The Times: p. 2. 20 January 1972. 
  15. ^ "News in brief". The Times: p. 4. 21 February 1972. 
  16. ^ "Hall of fame inductee: Dixie Dean". nationalfootballmuseum.com. 2002. http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/pages/fame/Inductees/dixiedean.htm. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "News in brief". The Times: p. 3. 8 March 1980. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ a b Keith. p. 6. 
  21. ^ "Dixie Dean Testimonial Programme". evertoncollection.org.uk. http://www.evertoncollection.org.uk/object?id=796+EFC%2F8%2F12%2F2&. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  22. ^ Join tribute to "Dixie" Dean (8 April 1964). The Times: p. 5. 
  23. ^ "14ct gold medal". Christies Auction House. http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=2011621&sid=40965e0d-d7fb-4efc-919e-92cfe6caa7d9. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "Tom Murphy: Dixie Dean". http://www.liverpoolsculptures.com/dixie.htm. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  25. ^ "Everton FC 12 days of Christmas – 12 Hall of Fame legends". Liverpool Daily Post. 24 December 2010. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/everton-fc/everton-fc-news/2010/12/24/everton-fc-12-days-of-christmas-12-hall-of-fame-legends-100252-27875144/. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Football’s finest traditions upheld with Liverpool Echo’s Dixie Dean Memorial Award". Liverpool Echo. 17 February 2010. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/echosportsawards/sports-personality-archive/2010/02/17/football-s-finest-traditions-upheld-with-liverpool-echo-s-dixie-dean-memorial-award-100252-25849175/. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  27. ^ Winner. 
  28. ^ a b "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=147. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  29. ^ a b "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=148. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  30. ^ a b c "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=149. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  31. ^ a b c "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=150. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  32. ^ a b "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=151. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  33. ^ a b "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=155. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=156. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  35. ^ "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=157. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  36. ^ "EnglandFC Match Data". England FC. http://www.englandfc.com/MatchData/showmatchdetails.php?mid=175. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 

External links