William Ralph “Dixie” Dean was born on 22nd January 1907. Arguably the greatest Everton player of all time, Dean played as a centre forward.
Dean was born in Birkenhead and subsequently played for Tranmere Rovers before eventually moving to Everton FC, where he went on to play for the majority of his career.
And to celebrate what would have been Dixie Dean’s 111th birthday, join us as we take a look back at the highlights of his life and career.
In the world of football, Dean is best remembered for his performances between 1927-28. The football icon scored an astonishing 60 goals in the League season.
During his first 198 games playing for Everton Football Club, Dixie Dean achieved 200 goals, making this an all-time record.
Not forgetting, Dixie is the only man to have reached 37 hat tricks in a career. Never sent off the pitch, the football legend was one of the game’s true gentlemen.
Talking of playing against Liverpool, a charismatic Dixie Dean remarked:
“There was nothing like quietening that Kop. When you stuck a goal in there it all went quiet, apart from a bit of choice language aimed in your direction! Scoring there was a delight to me. I just used to turn round to the crowd and bow three times to them”
Despite their rivalling teams, Dixie Dean and Bill Shankly shared an unlikely friendship. The Liverpool legend held Dean in the highest esteem, once saying:
“Dixie was the greatest centre forward there will ever be. His record of goalscoring is the most amazing thing under the sun. He belongs in the company of the supremely great like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt.”
And of course, the Everton icon greatly inspired other players. Most notably, Alex Young said:
“Dixie was unique. A legend. An icon. The superlatives rain upon him and rightly so because his feats still seem unbelievable. I feel privileged and honoured to be one of the players to have pulled on that Everton No.9 jersey and followed in the footsteps of a football giant.”
Shortly after the war and following his retirement, Dixie took on the job as landlord of the Dublin Packet pub in Chester.
Running the pub for over 16 years, Dean could often be found chatting to customers and enjoyed reminiscing about his Everton days.
Happy to get back to work after his time on the pitch came to an end, colleagues described him as “a quiet, unassuming man” which nicely describes Dixie Dean’s life after retirement.
When he was 70 years old, Dixie Dean was interviewed for The Guardian in 1977. The insightful interview took a look back at Dean’s career and what would be the final years of his life.
“He still prefers to be called Bill. He was first known as Dixie by Tranmere supporters in his first League season in 1924. In their innocence they thought his jet black mop and swarthy skin went well and lovingly with America’s deep south. Certainly, since then scarce any lad named Dean the world over has escaped the prefix Dixie.”
“Dean is now 70. His legendary right leg was amputated last year. He goes everywhere in a wheelchair. A widower, he lives contentedly with his daughter on the Wirral. His great joy is to wheel himself down the road to watch his 10-year-old granddaughter at riding lessons. That and his never lost love of horse racing. His honeymoon in 1931 consisted of a fortnight’s tour of the racetracks of Britain. Now, of a television afternoon the telephone wires to his bookie hum with hunches.”
Though decades have been and gone since the humble days of the Dixie Dean era, the Everton icon is still remembered today.
At Goodison Park, fans will find a striking statue in memory of the top goal scorer. It was at Everton’s football ground that Dixie sadly passed away in 1980.
The upcoming Dixie Dean Hotel will celebrate the life and legacy of Everton’s star player, offering fans the chance to stay in a themed football hotel.
Set to sit opposite Liverpool’s Shankly Hotel, fans can now look forward to the development of the world’s first ‘Football Quarter’.
The unique area will be designed to celebrate Liverpool’s famously friendly rivalry between Liverpool FC and Everton FC.
Widely known as the “friendly derby” this will be a fantastic development for the city and cement Liverpool’s football history in the heart of the city centre.
Set to open its doors later in 2018, we look forward to welcoming guests for a luxury overnight stay and fully immersive experience.
Bringing an exciting new atmosphere to Victoria Street, the area is expected to feel more atmospheric for locals and visitors.
In the meantime, make sure you don’t miss out on the latest updates and developments over on our Facebook page.
You can also check back to our blog to stay in the loop with our plans. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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