After being born and raised on the streets of Birkenhead, it was under no doubt that Dixie Dean was going to be a legend in the eyes of Scousers. What better way to honour a legend than by taking a journey through the life and locations that shaped one of Birkenhead?s greats.
Come with us as we look back at some of the buildings and places that were, and will always be, a part of Dixie?s past.
On the 22nd January 1907, William and Sarah Dean gave birth to William Ralph ?Dixie? Dean.
The family home was modest, located in Birkenhead?s North End, close to the docks and within view of the River Mersey and the iconic city that lay beyond.
It was in this home that Dixie Dean?s love of football first spawned after William Sr took little Dixie to his first match ? an Everton game in the 1914-1915 title-winning season.
The roads surrounding Laird Street were to be the place where his iconic nickname was first picked up. Dubbed ?Digsy? for his aggressive style of play.
Dixie Dean?s educational career began at the now-defunct Laird Street School. While he attended until the age of 11, he didn?t feel he got the most out of his early learning years.
?My only lesson was football. I used to give the pens out on Friday afternoons. That was the only job I had in school, I never had any lessons.?
It was when he turned 11 and he progressed to his next school that his real passion really started taking shape.
Albert Industrial school was a borstal school in Birkenhead. The school received children who had been committed by the courts for a period of detention but Dixie?s reason for attending was much different.
The school had fantastic footballing facilities and had the added perk of boarding children during their education, a fact that Dixie welcomed in light of his modest (and overcrowded) family home.
So while the school had some troubled children within its walls, Dixie was attending to play on the football team. Although he did tell his fellow pupils that he had been caught stealing to make sure he fitted in with the other boys.
After playing for a local team and being scouted by a Tranmere Rovers evaluator, Prenton Park was the first place he took a dip in the world of professional football.
He was a star attraction in the then Third Division North and he spent the next two years dazzling crowds for the Rovers.
Perhaps what Dean is most famous for is his time at Everton, where he scored his record-breaking 60 League goals in a single season.
Goodison Park is now home to a beautiful statue in memory of the great goal scorer. Unveiled in 2001 and crafted by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy, Dixie is forever remembered in the artist?s catalogue of Liverpool?s great and stands proudly outside the club where he really found his feet.
As a footballer so intrinsically linked with the club, it was a sad fit that his life came to an end at the ground in 1980. ~Dixie Dean passed away of a heart attack just minutes after the final whistle of a derby match.
While Dixie Dean was dazzling fans on the pitch for both Everton and England, he was initiated as a Freemason in 1931.
His home Lodge was Randle Holme Lodge in Birkenhead. The secretive fraternal organisation welcomed several football players over the years from all over the country, including Stanley Matthews and Nat Lofthouse.
Dixie later retired from freemasonry to run a pub in Chester.
The Dublin Packet in Chester was served by Dixie Dean as the pub landlord just after the war. He was a popular landlord and helped the pub to thrive for 16 years.
His pint pulling helped make the pub one of the best in Chester and it hasn?t enjoyed the same success since he left.
Just 12 months before the start of the campaign that would see him set the record for goals in a single season, Dixie Dean suffered a terrible motorbike accident in Holywell, North Wales.
The footballer suffered extreme injuries, including a fractured skull, a broken cheekbone and a fractured jaw.
Doctors stated that he would never be able to play football again, but his miraculous recovery paved the way for a fantastic career.
As the legend began to age, his health was on a continuous downward slope. In January 1972, he was admitted to St. Catherine?s Hospital in Birkenhead after coming down with a bad case of influenza.
He wasn?t released for another month after admittance but he was still suffering from the effects and his health continued to decline.
Dixie Dean?s rollercoaster of a life and career came full circle when his funeral was hosted by St. James? Church on Laird Street, just minutes away from the house where he grew up.
Soon, Dixie Dean fans will have another landmark to visit in Liverpool. The Dixie Dean Hotel will be one of the best places to visit to view exclusive memorabilia and previously untold stories of the Everton legend.
With family support, an expert team of developers and a love and respect for football, the hotel is set to be one of the most exciting openings of all time in Liverpool. Keep up to date with all the latest news and be the first to know about the thrilling development of one of Liverpool’s newest Dixie Dean landmarks.
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