Dixie Dean

Footballer, Gentleman, Evertonian

Player Biography
Full name: William Ralph Dean
Date of birth: January 22, 1907
Date of death: March 1, 1980
Clubs played for: Tranmere, Everton, Notts County
Dixie Dean
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Club Career

One of the greatest goalscorers ever to grace the game, Dixie Dean is arguably Everton's most outstanding player of all-time. After signing from Tranmere for £3,000 in 1925, Dean plundered 32 goals in 38 games in his first full season as an Evertonian and went on to captain the side to an unprecedented back-to-back treble of Second Division Championship, League title and FA Cup.

But Dean, a powerhouse of a centre-forward with imposing aerial ability, will be most remembered for the astonishing 60 league goals he scored in the 1927-28 season – a record which still stands today. After 12 years at Goodison Park, Dean departed Merseyside to join Notts County before moving on to Sligo Rovers in Ireland. He ended his playing days with Hurst FC in the Cheshire County League.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1923-25 Tranmere 30 27
1925-37 Everton 399 349
1938-39 Notts County 9 3

International Career

Dean's phenomenal goalscoring prowess was translated to the international stage, where he scored 18 goals in 16 appearances for England, including two hat-tricks against Belgium in May 1927 and Luxembourg 10 days later. He would doubtless have played and scored more for his country but international football at this stage was still in its infancy.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1927-32 England 16 18

Key Games

Everton 3-3 Arsenal (First Division, May 5, 1928)

With just three matches to go, Dean was still eight goals short of the 59-goal record that had been set by Middlesbrough's George Camsell the previous season, but two against Aston Villa and four against Burnley meant he was on 57 goals going into the final match of the season. In his final game before retirement, Arsenal's Charlie Buchan was determined to deny Dean his record at Goodison Park, but Dixie duly scored the hat-trick that earned him footballing immortality - heading the all-important third five minutes from time.

Everton 3-0 Manchester City (FA Cup final, April 29, 1933)

Uncharacteristically, Dean missed two good chances in this match but, as ever, he made his mark on the game, helping set up the first goal and scoring Everton's second in the 3-0 win that helped complete a unique treble of titles in three years, following on from the successive Second Division and League title wins. Dean was also instrumental in the team selection as Everton were without a manager and took the controversial decision to drop the semi-final scorer Ted Critchley in favour of Albert Geldard, who set up the last goal.

Scotland 1-2 England (International, April 3, 1927)

With tournaments such as the World Cup and the European Championship yet to be conceived there were no more important matches than internationals against the auld enemy. National pride was at stake and England had to show great character in the bearpit of Hampden Park after going 1-0 down before 111,214 baying Glaswegians. But England rallied and Dean scored both goals of a memorable 2-1 win.

Honours

Club Competition Year
Everton League Championship 1927-28, 1931-32
FA Cup 1933
Second Division Championship 1930-31

Did You Know...?

Dean actually disliked his nickname, which is generally thought to have resulted from his dark complexion and hair, which gave him a swarthy look akin to people from the southern United States, known at the time as 'Dixies'. He preferred to go by the name of Bill

Dean's 60-goal season is all the more remarkable for the fact that he was involved in a life-threatening motorcycle accident the summer before his historic feat. Dean fractured his skull and jaw in the crash and upon his arrival in hospital doctors feared he only had hours to live

Dean was never once booked or dismissed during his career and, although many of his goals came courtesy of the sort of shoulder barge on the goalkeeper that nowadays would result in a caution, he was often himself targetted by defenders. In his Tranmere days, a foul by an Altrincham centre-back resulted in Dean losing a testicle. When, 17 years on, Davy Parks offered to buy him a drink in a Liverpool pub in 1941, Dean exacted retribution by knocking him out. But it later emerged that Parks hadn't been the culprit at all but in fact a man by the name of Molyneux had been to blame.

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From the back pages

Scotland 1-2 England Published: April 4, 1927

International match report

Scotland 1-2 England Published: April 4, 1927

International match report

Dixie Dean Breaks Record Published: May 7, 1928

Striker reaches 60 goals for the season

Dixie Dean Breaks Record Published: May 7, 1928

Striker reaches 60 goals for the season

Hat-trick For Dixie Dean Published: September 3, 1928

First Division football round-up

"Who's Who" In The Cup Final Today Published: April 29, 1933

FA Cup final preview

Everton 3-0 Manchester City Published: May 1, 1933

FA Cup final review

Everton 3-0 Manchester City Published: May 1st 1933

FA Cup final match report

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