Still the owner of countless records and trophies, Dixie Dean is undeniably the greatest Everton player of all time.
In total, Dean scored 383 goals for Everton in 433 appearances, an exceptional strike-rate which includes 37 hat-tricks. He was known as a sporting player and was never booked or sent off during his career, despite rough treatment and provocation from opponents.
We take a look at how Dixie Dean’s love for Everton began and his journey to becoming one of the greatest Evertonians to have lived.
William Ralph ?Dixie? Dean was born at 313 Laird Street in Birkenhead on 22nd January 1907. His family were from Chester and he was the grandson of Ralph Brett, a train driver who drove the royal train during the reign of George V.
Dixie grew?up as a supporter of Everton, thanks to his father, William Sr., who took him to a match during the 1914?1915 title-winning season when he was just eight years old. After that game, Dixie only had eyes for Everton.
So, it was a dream come true for Dean 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 north Birkenhead to the riverside to meet him. He signed for Everton in March 1925 having just turned 18.
Dean signed for Everton for ?3,000, then a record fee received for Tranmere Rovers.
Dean began the 1925/26 campaign in the reserves. He was called up to the first team for the fifth match and scored a hat-trick against Burnley on 17 October 1925.
In his first full season as an Evertonian he scored 32 League goals, 6 short of the League record of 38 held by Bertie Freeman, a former Everton player.
During the legendary 1927-28 season, Dixie memorably scored a record 60 league goals and Everton won the First Division title.
When Everton were relegated to Second Division in 1930 Dean stayed with them. The club went on to immediately win the Second Division in 1931 followed by the First Division again in 1932.
In 1933 Everton amazingly won the FA Cup, in which Dean scored in the final. This run of wins has been unmatched ever since.
Dixie Dean was the first Everton player to wear the number-9 shirt and by 1934, he was captain of the Everton side and one of the most loved players in the team. It was clear that Dixie was very passionate about his team and that passion never wavered throughout the time he played for them.
Dixie Dean retired from football in April 1941 and spent the next years of his life running a pub in Chester called the Dublin Packet.
In January 1972, Dean was admitted to St. Catherine?s hospital in Birkenhead after suffering from the effects of influenza and was released a month later. However, after this his health continued to decline over the years.
A couple of years later, Dean died on 1 March 1980 at age 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 in several years, due to ill health. It seemed poignant that the player that was loved so much by the team and who loved them in return would pass away at Goodison.
His funeral was attended by thousands of football fans.
Still remembered today as a true Everton icon, Dixie Dean tributes continue to flood in.
Recently?Everton revealed their home kit for the 2017-18 season, with the traditional blue shirts featuring a tribute to legendary striker Dixie Dean in the form of a silhouette on the back of the collar.
The depiction of Dean was chosen in a vote by supporters earlier this season. The iconic silhouette of Dean scooped 47 per cent of votes in a poll.
Nick Mernock, chair of the Fans? Forum, said: “Dixie Dean is an Everton icon and his presence on the home shirt will ensure we can continue to tell his story to a new generation of Blues.”
Arguably the greatest goalscorer ever to grace the English game, Dixie Dean was a gentleman and role model.
The late marksman?s daughter Barbara Dean remembered her father recently:
“He was just a normal, down-to-earth bloke. He used to get the bus over here and go in the local pubs.
He was loved by normal people and he was very understanding of what was going on in the world and the hardships people faced, he really felt for people.
He has a real connection with the fans and the club and knew that football brought them out.
In some cases it was the only thing that they had to keep them going. He was the best, and still is!”
Dixie Dean had an amazing personality and was always known for his gentlemanly and polite manner. When he played for Everton, Dixie was the captain and spiritual leader of the team
Throughout his whole life, Dixie’s love of the blues never faded.
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