Over an astonishing football career, the humble yet talented player Dixie Dean struck up some fabulous partnerships. There are some amazing stories of Dean?s charming personality and utter loyalty that transcend time, but we?ve picked out two people who formed our favourite unlikely friendships of Dixie Dean.
They are those of Bill Shankly, former Liverpool Football Manager and Elisha Scott, the longest-serving LFC goalkeeper.
Two improbable friendships of Dixie Dean that are a testament to the fellowship of Liverpool?s rival football clubs, players and fans that has lasted until today.
Football certainly brings the people of Liverpool together rather than dividing it like some rival clubs can. Liverpool and Everton derby days are something every Scouser looks forward to whether a red or blue.
In large part, the bridging of the two major Liverpool football clubs can be traced back to the unlikely friendship between legends Dixie Dean and Bill Shankly.
Both were formidable forces in football and both had a place in the heart of the fans. Their quick-witted humour and love of the game is something that cemented their relationship often coming together to enjoy pre-match lunches in each other?s company.
Shankly had a huge amount of respect for the playing ability of Dixie Dean and of course his attitude toward the game of football.
?Ladies and gentleman, today we are joined by a man who ranks amongst the greatest there is: Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Beethoven. This man is Dixie Dean? ? Bill Shankly
Shankly?s relationship with Everton football club blossomed after he retired from managing LFC and it is at Goodison that Shankly was warmly welcomed by fans and players alike.
Dixie Deans daughter recalls regular visits were made by Shankly at their home on the Wirral saying he would simply drop by for a ?cup of tea and a chat?.
This quote came from a stirring speech given at the 1980 pre-match lunch where Dixie Dean passed away whilst watching his beloved blues take on red rivals LFC.
At Dixie Dean?s funeral, where thousands of fans gathered in the streets to honour him, Shankly spoke one of his famous one-liners that only
?Dixie Dean dead could draw a bigger crowd than today?s Everton, live.?
At The Shankly Hotel, a commemoration plaque was unveiled by members of both the Shankly and Dean family. The idea behind the piece is to remind the people who visit The Shankly Hotel of the wonderful friendship between the two footballing greats despite their footballing allegiances.
In the long run, the Dixie Dean plaque should inspire the fans of today to be friends regardless of their choice of team and respect each other both on and off the pitch.
Mortal enemies for 90 minutes and best buddies the rest of the week Dixie Dean had nothing but respect for the Liverpool goalkeeper Elisha Scott.
?Of any goalkeeper I have seen, for sheer intuition and ability and agility, ?Leesh? Scott was the best.?
The pair shared a boatload of banter during their playing careers and often enjoyed a pre-Derby ritual of a cigarette before kick-off together.
The stories of Dixie?s and Scott?s relationship are documented through what some would say is urban footballing legend varying in detail from person to person.
It is said that one fine day Dixie Dean and Elisha Scott were walking on opposite sides of a busy Liverpool city centre street. In greeting or jest, Dean is said to have tipped his cap or nodded ?hello? in the direction of Scott who then made a dive into the centre of the street (or straight through a plate glass window depending on who you hear it from) in order to save the imaginary ball he thought Dixie had headed.
Such was their mutual respect and rivalry prior to any Merseyside Derby Dixie would send over a bottle of aspirin to Elisha advising him to;
?Get some sleep tonight, because I?ll be on you tomorrow?
Even though the game was the game on the pitch off pitch Elisha and Dixie would often meet to discuss their feelings about past matches and football in general in local pubs.
After retiring 21 years earlier inside the pub that Dixie owned, the Dublin Packet, Elisha paid a visit. This was after Liverpool had beaten Everton by a whopping 4-0 in February 1955. Upon seeing the unexpected rival in his pub Dixie remarked that ?He?s come back to haunt me.?
Despite the ongoing banter and rivalry between the pair Elisha Scott and Dixie Dean remained close after both their playing careers had ended having bonded over their love of the game and mutual respect of each other?s talents.
Two teams one city, the widely anticipated Dixie Dean Hotel will serve as a physical representation of Liverpool and Everton?s rivalry facing The Shankly Hotel.
The intention is not to separate fans into two opposing hotels but to bring them together in what will be affectionately known as the Football Quarter celebrating two of Liverpool?s footballing greats.
Whilst you are waiting for the Dixie Dean Hotel to open its doors check out The Shankly Museum, including the Dixie Dean plaque inside The Shankly Hotel.
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