Time to celebrate something

January 22nd is a special day in the history of Everton Football Club and every year Evertonians all over the world should raise a glass to celebrate the date the greatest Evertonian there has ever been was born.

Mark Cuddy 22/01/2017 61comments  |  Jump to last

January 22nd is a special day in the history of Everton Football Club and every year Evertonians all over the world should raise a glass to celebrate that date. Because it was on this day back in 1907 that the greatest Evertonian there has ever been was born, a man who played for his boyhood club and made and smashed every goalscoring record there was and created some that will never be beaten.

Evertonians everywhere please raise a glass to the birth of the footballing legend that is William Ralph ‘Dixie' Dean.

Dixie's goal scoring record was and still is phenomenal but possibly the greatest goalscoring record he set was the sixty league goals he scored in one season way back in 1927-28. He achieved this incredible milestone in just 39 games. For anyone interested and for people who don't like to forget their history this is how he did it…

Before the 1927-28 season kicked off Everton must have been reflecting on the previous season which can only be described as poor. They finished one place above the relegated teams of Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion and had a goal difference of -26. For the twenty year old Dixie it was a mixed bag, netting 21 goals in 27 appearances and 36 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions. This was down on his previous season when he scored 32 league goals in 38 appearances. The season had been so poor that Everton went out and bought several players including the experienced 30 year old Warney Cresswell from Sunderland for £7,000, Jerry Kelly from Ayr United, Tony Weldon from Airdrie for £2,000, and England goalkeeper Ted Taylor from Huddersfield Town where he had already won three league titles in a row from 1923-24 season to 1925-26 season.

Everton needed to start the season strongly if they were not to have a repeat of the previous season. The positive news was the opening fixture was at home at Goodison Park and against Sheffield Wednesday, a team they had beaten in the previous fixture 2-1. As it turned out Everton thrashed Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 and Dixie got the final goal in the rout.

Their second match was away against newly promoted Middlesbrough and their goal machine George Camsell. Camsell had created the footballing record of 59 league goals in a single season the previous season. Camsell was at it again and Everton lost 4-2. For Dixie's part he scored one of Everton's goals. He followed this up in his next match with another goal in a 1-1 draw away to Bolton Wanderers.

On his second home match of the season Dixie scored two goals in a 5-2 victory over Birmingham. At home four days later Everton played Bolton Wanderers again and Dixie scored another single goal in another draw, this time 2-2. Although Everton didn't beat Bolton in either games Dixie was pleased with scoring a goal against them both home and away because their team was laden with internationals he admired.

Everton's next league match was away against the defending champions Newcastle United and Dixie wasted no time getting on the score sheet scoring in the first minute of the match. Just like the previous game against Bolton it ended all square at 2-2 with Dixie getting both goals. This was a marked improvement on the previous season when Newcastle thrashed Everton in the same fixture 7-3 which was the joint highest scoring match of that season.

Dixie was quick off the mark again in Everton's next match scoring in the fourth minute of the game, at home to Huddersfield Town. Like the previous two matches the game ended 2-2. Like the Newcastle game Dixie got the two goals.

Two goals in a match was becoming the norm for Dixie as he scored another two in Everton's next league match away to Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-1 win. A week later he blew Manchester United away with all five goals in a 5-2 win at Goodison Park. These goal feats meant that he had scored in every one of his first nine league games and totalled seventeen league goals in the process.

The next fixture was at Goodison Park and the first Merseyside derby of the season which ended all square at 1-1. Surprisingly it was the first time Dixie didn't find the back of the net. A further surprise followed in Everton's next fixture against West Ham United. Dixie had to miss the match because he was on international duty for England, a game were England lost 2-0 to Ireland. Everton on the other hand banged seven past West Ham United without reply in the biggest home win of the league that season.

Back from international duty Dixie wasted no time scoring a hat-trick away to Portsmouth in a 3-1 win and another hat-trick against Leicester in a 7-1 home win. For the first time that season Dixie scored consecutive hat-tricks. It was the second time in two home matches when Everton scored seven goals. The Portsmouth match must have given him something more to cheer about as he became the first person under 21 years of age to score a century of goals.

He added another two goals to his tally away to Derby County in a 3-0 win. That took him to eight goals in three matches. A 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at home in his next match was followed up with two goals away to Bury in a 3-2 win.

Another blank in a 0-0 game this time against Sheffield United was followed with his fourth hat-trick of the season in a 3-2 win away at Aston Villa. It must have come to a shock to the Everton supporters when Dixie didn't score in their next game at home to Burnley in a 4-1 win.

His next three games must seem incredible by today's fixture list. On Christmas Eve Everton travelled away to Arsenal and lost 3-2, Dixie scored one of the goals. Two days later on Boxing Day he scored two goals against Cardiff City at Goodison Park in a 2-1 win. This was followed with a blank the following day away, again to Cardiff City in a 2-0 defeat. That was three matches in four days. Travelling to London, back to Liverpool and then travelling down to South Wales the following day just seems incredible.

Four days later on New Year's Eve Dixie was at it again scoring the two goals in Everton's 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. The two goals now meant Dixie had scored 35 goals in 22 league appearances that season.

The New Year began with two more goals this time in a 4-2 defeat away to Blackburn Rover's. Two goals was again the number for Dixie in his next match a 3-1 win at home to Middlesbrough. He had now scored two goals in three consecutive matches for the second time that season and overtook Everton's club record of 38 goals set by Bert Freeman in the 1908-09 season. However this was to be Everton's last league win for nearly three months.

Everton played nine league matches in this period in which they scored ten goals and conceded eighteen. In the nine league matches they drew five and lost four. For Dixie it wasn't all bad. From the ten goals Everton scored he scored six of them and three of them were against Liverpool away at Anfield in a game that Everton were winning 3-1 before the game ended 3-3. Dixie's three goals arrived in the first hour of the game. The match was Dixie's one hundredth appearance. It was during this period that he also celebrated his twenty-first birthday.

Dixie also scored three goals in the FA Cup, all away from home, one against Preston and two against Arsenal. On top of this Dixie missed a 0-0 draw against Portsmouth at Goodison Park because he was representing the Football League in a match against the Scottish League at Ibrox where he scored two goals in a 6-2 win.

Furthermore the last of the Everton winless league drought, the double he scored in a 2-2 draw against Derby County at Goodison Park, Dixie passed Ted Harper's league record total of 43 goals for Blackburn Rover's set two season's earlier.

Dixie missed his third league game of the season when he represented England in a match at Wembley were they were beaten by Scotland 5-1. Just like earlier in the season when Everton were without Dixie Everton won in his absence 2-0 away to Sunderland.

With seven league games left to play Dixie needed 15 goals to beat the record of 59 goals set by George Camsell the previous season. By now even the book makers were convinced it was impossible and were offering 10,000-1 odds on him reaching the landmark number of sixty.

Blackburn Rover's came to Goodison on April 6th and Dixie scored two in a 4-1 win. Incredibly Everton had to play the following day again at Goodison against Bury and drew 1-1, Dixie scored the Everton goal. A week later Dixie scored two in a 3-1 win away to Sheffield United. Four days later he scored one goal in a 3-0 win over reigning champions Newcastle United at Goodison Park. With three games left to play he still needed nine goals to overtake the record.

On the 21st April, on the penultimate home match of the season, Aston Villa came to Goodison Park and Dixie scored two goals in a 3-2 win. With two games to go Dixie needed seven goals. At this point he had scored ten goals in his last six league appearances.

Everton's last away match of the season saw them win 5-3 at Burnley and Dixie scored four goals before half time. But now more than ever it seemed impossible he would get the other three goals to reach sixty because he had to leave the field because he had pulled a muscle in his thigh.

Before the last game of the season Everton were declared the champions of the league but for Dixie he still needed three goals to break the record and he was still hungry for more goals. He wasn't the only one, in the week that led up to the final game of the season Everton's trainer Harry Cooke bandaged Dixie's leg with hot plaster and hot towels and even stayed at Dixie's home changing the plasters every two hours for three days in a row in the hope he would be fit enough to face Arsenal. When Arsenal came to visit Everton at Goodison Park on May 5th 1928 Dixie had already scored six hat-tricks and yet still needed another one to reach sixty league goals. With the pulled muscle in his thigh it was surely a goal too far.

In the last game of the 1927-28 season the newly crowned champions Everton went a goal down after only two minutes. A minute later the ground erupted as Dixie equalised from a corner from Ted Critchley. Two minutes after that Goodison Park went wild as Dixie scored his second of the day and equalled the record set by George Camsell. The goal came from the penalty spot after Dixie had been fouled. For the remaining match Everton's tactics were to hit everything up to Dixie in the hope he would score another one and break the record. With time ticking away, well into the final ten minutes of the game, Everton got a corner, Alex Troup stepped up to take it and floated a ball into a melee of players. With 82 minutes on the clock Dixie rose the highest and headed the ball into the Park End goal. The noise from the 60,000 crowd was like an earthquake.

In typical sportsmanship fashion of the game at that period the Arsenal goalkeeper congratulated Dixie by shaking his hand. Unusual for the period supporters invaded the pitch in the hope of shaking Dixie's hand. The pitch invasion was incredibly rare for the time. One over excited fan actual kissed Dixie to the amusement of the crowd while another one was thrown off the pitch by the referee.

Before the game ended Dixie believed he would be mobbed to death by the crowd in their joy for their hero and asked the referee if he could sneak off before the final whistle. The referee agreed and let Dixie sneak off the pitch and away from the raw euphoria. Dixie had achieved a dream — sixty league goals in a season.

For the record Dixie Dean scored in 29 of his 39 appearances, including 7 hat-tricks, four goals in one game and five goals in another game. Of his 60 league goals he scored 40 from shots and 20 from headers. He scored 29 goals in 14 appearances at Goodison Park and the other 31 goals in 15 away appearances. In an age when football was a very tough sport with hard tackling players throughout the league and mud soaked pitches often the playing surfaces of the day Dixie was never booked or sent off.

When William Ralph ‘Dixie' Dean finished his Everton career he had scored 349 league goals in 399 matches and another 28 goals in 32 appearances in the FA Cup, giving him an incredible 377 goals in 431 appearances for the team he supported as a boy and the only team he ever wanted to play for. Matched with his England international career of 18 goals in 16 matches and the spells he had starting firstly with Tranmere Rovers and finishing with Notts County he had scored an astonishing 425 goals in 489 appearances. He also scored 37 hat-tricks which is still a record. His statistics are truly incredible.

In top flight English football great players and goal scorers will come and go, some might even score more goals in their career than Dixie Dean but his record of 60 league goals in one league season will surely never be beaten or bettered. Dixie Dean, a legend and the greatest Toffee there as ever been. Let's raise another glass to the one and the only Dixie Dean!

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Reader Comments (61)

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Paul Birmingham
1 Posted 22/01/2017 at 09:17:54
Excellent read and rightly so, Dixie is the greatest and it's unlikely any player will ever get close to his records. It's incredible and accepting the game has changed what went on off the pitch and attitude on the pitch is a good example to the EFC squads.

Let's hope the current squad can take some belief and endearment from Dixies achievements, into the rest of this season from Dixie's example.Tom Davies does look like he's gonna be a hell of a player and has an old head on young shoulders.

Here's to a good second half of the season.

Alan McMillan
2 Posted 22/01/2017 at 09:36:23
Incredible how someone would take the time to write something so informative and entertaining. Outstanding article, well done
Steve Woods
3 Posted 22/01/2017 at 09:44:01
Thanks for a most enjoyable article Mark. Well done.
Jonathan Tasker
4 Posted 22/01/2017 at 09:48:56
Brilliantly written-great article.

They don't make them like that anymore.

Dan Davies
5 Posted 22/01/2017 at 10:06:38
I shall have a little drink to Dixie later on this evening! Fine reading.
Andy McNabb
6 Posted 22/01/2017 at 10:11:49
Thanks Mark. That was a good read. Happy days and love the bit about the 'keeper congratulating him. It was a different age and certainly a more sporting one. I wonder back then, if a player with cramp who is off the pitch, would get himself back onto the field of play to try and stop the opposition attack? Doubt it, somehow.

Stephen Brown
7 Posted 22/01/2017 at 10:21:49
Excellent article!

10,000-1 odds from the bookies! Wish I had a time machine!

Raise a glass to Dixie!

David Pearl
8 Posted 22/01/2017 at 13:31:53
Great effort Mark. I wonder if there will ever be a tv series based on Dixie and his greatest season.

And those odds from the bookies will never be repeated again either. Has there ever been any record of any actually takers of that offer??

Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 22/01/2017 at 14:39:12
Great effort, Mark!

"He belongs to the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt" - Bill Shankly.

Tony Sullivan
10 Posted 22/01/2017 at 18:49:32
Great read, thanks Mark.

According to his biographer, carrying his boots, he got the No 19 tram from the Pier Head to Goodison on the day of the Arsenal game.

What a story!

Andy Meighan
11 Posted 22/01/2017 at 19:30:44
Absolutely brilliant, Mark. Loved that. If I had one wish in life it would be to travel back in time and see this unique goal machine in action. What an incredible feat.

And once again thanks, Mark, for taking the time out to write that really informative piece. I never get tired of reading about the great man and his incredible feats.
Danny O'Neill
12 Posted 22/01/2017 at 19:57:44
Excellent piece, Mark. I am certainly raising a glass!
Martin Nicholls
13 Posted 22/01/2017 at 20:07:00
Great article Mark. Many footballers have been rewarded for "services to football by the award of an honour, some more deserving than others. The incredible William Ralph Dean has not been, despite being a giant compared to the footballing pygmies who have received recognition.

I would like to see EFC (perhaps with the backing of Evertonian MP Andy Burnham) mount a campaign to have Dixie posthumously recognised – perhaps Lyndon and Michael could get the ball rolling by contacting our Club.

I'm not sure if a knighthood can be awarded posthumously but doesn't Sir William Ralph Dean sound good? Better still, Lord Dean of Everton?!

Martin Nicholls
14 Posted 22/01/2017 at 20:39:17
It seems that it is not currently normal for honours to be awarded posthumously, however there are ongoing campaigns for this to be changed for specific individuals (e.g. Bobby Moore, George Michael etc) - Dixie is equally if not more deserving.

If nothing is/can be done then the FA should be lobbied to somehow recognise his achievements

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 22/01/2017 at 20:59:55
Great piece Mark on the story of Dixie's record breaking season, would have loved to have lived in the time of that year.

Martin I know you have Dixie and his families best interest at heart, but reading about Dixie and his humility I'm not sure he would have wanted the sort of honour you are advocating, l'm sure the way he was idolised by football fans everywhere would have been enough for him.

Gerard McKean
16 Posted 22/01/2017 at 21:16:19
Mark, thank you for evoking such great pictures of a bygone era.

If TW readers will indulge me for a personal memory; my grandad was born in 1888 in Chester. From the age of 14 he used to walk every day to work in the shipyards at Birkenhead and back again to Chester. In 1907, the year of Dixie's birth, he moved to Liverpool where he worked on Garston docks. The lads he worked with in Birkenhead and Garston were all Evertonians and when he could afford it my grandad would be at Goodison on matchdays.

He was one of the "lucky" ones who survived the carnage of 4 years fighting in the First World war, but some wounds are not visible and he had come back a different man. He could no longer bear being in big crowds or face loud noise all around him, which is why he became a gardner (at Speke Hall) and hardly ever went to the match any more.

In 1925 my grandfather's only child (my Dad) was born and even though he could not subject himself to the crowds and the noise, like any Evertonian he resolved to make sure that his son was brought up correctly. With that in mind and knowing he must pass on to his son the stories of the great deeds and glory of Everton Football Club my grandad found himself outside of Goodison Park on May 5th 1928. In my Dad's telling of this story to me many years later he was not sure if my grandad was avoiding the deafening roars inside or, more likely, he could not afford to pay to get in. In any event when a pass gate opened near to where he stood my grandad dived into the gap just so he could say, "I was there on the day Dixie scored his 60th!"

My own Dad was there when Everton became Champions in 1939, he joined the Royal Navy at 17 and returned from his war to become a lifelong season ticket holder. Naturally he also ensured that his children were Blues and as his eldest I was taken to my first match in 1958. Recent articles on TW brought back many memories of the players of that era, and I am glad that Tommy Ring is remembered so fondly but, for what its worth, while I worshipped Vernon and Young, and later Royle and Kendall, Reid and Sheedy there are only 4 players in my lifetime who in my opinion were world-class on their day; The Great Ramon, The Ball of Fire, The White Pele and the man who was shamefully negelected by EFC for far too long: Tony Kay.

But I digress; in the late 1950's/early 60's money was till tight for working families in Liverpool. For us a week's holiday in Chester staying with a cousin of my Dad was as good as any foreign, exotic holiday today. During one such Summer week I was with my Dad in Chester town centre and he must have fancied a pint. He told me to wait for a moment while he went inside the pub. A minute later he came out and picked me up and we went inside.

What struck me first was how dark it was inside compared to the sunny day outside. Then my Dad sat me on the edge of the bar and a man in the most brilliant white shining shirt with the sleeves rolled up lifted me over the bar and started showing me medals and caps. He was a powerful man but so gentle with me as a child. He gave me a glass of lemonade and said, "So you're Fred's grandson? I hope you're as good an Evertonian as he is!"

The pub was the Dublin Packet and the man behind the bar was Dixie Dean. My Dad had asked Dixie if he recalled the name of my grandad Fred who'd joined up in 1914 with one of his Evertonian mates from his Birkenhead days who was a relative (I think an Uncle) of the great man. Whether he actually recalled the name or not Dixie was a real gentleman towards me and my Dad and he and I and now my own sons could never support anyone other than the grand old team. We have the history in this city.

Mick Davies
17 Posted 23/01/2017 at 00:58:23
Gerard @ 16, that's a fantastic story; you really have Everton DNA running through your family, just like Dixie - and just like the great man, Tom Davies started his childhood football career at Tranmere I believe; Coincidence, or fate?
Laurie Hartley
18 Posted 23/01/2017 at 01:29:37
Gerard # 16 - you must be very proud of your Grandad:-

"From the age of 14 he used to walk every day to work in the shipyards at Birkenhead and back again to Chester."

Very humbling for me that - what a man! Talk about unsung heroes.

Don Alexander
19 Posted 23/01/2017 at 01:52:09
Other clubs no doubt revere their centre-forwards but we are blessed with Dean and then Tommy Lawton, and that's before we go post war with the likes of Bernie Wright and Micky Madar.

At the end of Dixie's time he got suspended for punching our club secretary. Assuming that's the role Elstone now holds I wonder if Lukaku is anyway inspired by history?

Mark Andersson
20 Posted 23/01/2017 at 01:56:04
Two great reads in one article. The traveling around in those days must have been pretty basic, unlike today's luxurious coaches.

I will raise a glass to the legend Dixie Dean

Gerry Morrison
21 Posted 23/01/2017 at 02:03:49
Thanks for that Mark, and for your memories Gerard, it has made my day.
Phil Greenough
22 Posted 23/01/2017 at 10:58:17
Thank you for a great article, Mark. Gerard, what a rich piece of social history, there must be many stories out there, that are similar to yours. Unfortunately, not many people take the time to write them down. Thanks a lot for making the effort and ensuring that future generations get a glimpse of the past.
Jay Harris
23 Posted 23/01/2017 at 11:36:56
Great post Mark and brings back many memories for me of my dad and grandad raving about Dixie and Tommy Lawton.

Maybe Bill should take Rom through this great mans history if he hasn't already done so.

Ray Roche
24 Posted 23/01/2017 at 12:23:19
Apart from the brilliant article that heads this thread we've been treated to an article by Gerard McKean #16, that is worthy of a thread of it's own.

Men like your Granddad were constructed with a different spirit, a different mettle to people of today, and I include myself in that statement. How tough it must have been for our forefathers to just exist, let alone improve on the hand they were dealt.

Like you say, money was still tight in the early 1960s for many people and the cost of going the match, and taking your sons, was prohibitive. My family were bombed out in the war and my Mam and sisters ended up staying in a cottage on Hope Mountain which my Grandma owned, my Dad stayed in Liverpool on aircraft production at Speke. Consequently, after the War, they had to start again from scratch, insurance was nowhere near as common as it is today so they, literally, lost everything. Tough times for many.

Your Granddad, walking from Chester... did he go home for his dinner?

Kim Vivian
25 Posted 23/01/2017 at 12:37:21
Hey great article ... but someone tell me that isn't the spit of Ramiro Funes Mori!
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 23/01/2017 at 15:40:08
Don (#19) yes we were lucky to have both Dixie and Tommy Lawton.

How about Notts County who had Dixie, Tommy and the great Hughie Gallagher who scored nearly a thousand league goals between them? Unfortunately Notts County got the three of them at the tail-end of their careers.

Ray Roche
27 Posted 23/01/2017 at 16:03:33
Dave, Just like Notts County,I remember Stoke City had a habit of getting players in the twilight of their careers, Roy Vernon, Dennis Violet, Eddie Clamp and Eddie Stuart from Wolves, Jimmy Mcilroy, Jackie Mudie, Maurice Setters, George Eastham, the list goes on, but they were all players who clearly still had much to offer, even if their other clubs thought they were over the hill.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 23/01/2017 at 16:09:23
Ray (27) yes and I think Tony Waddington ( ? )the manager did quite well with them.
Martin Nicholls
29 Posted 23/01/2017 at 16:30:52
Dave (#15),

I take your point about Dixie's humility and it is one shared by my match going mates. My personal concern is that Dixie might not be as idolized or indeed as well-known around the world as we might think. This view is based on one specific incident...

Some years back, whilst in a bar in Tenerife, I got talking to an Arsenal fan to whom the name Dixie Dean meant nothing – absolutely shocking ... particularly given the part of his own club in the making of footballing history.

I have a number of mates around the country who support various clubs – as a matter of interest, I might ask each what they actually know of the great Dixie.

Eugene Ruane
30 Posted 23/01/2017 at 17:47:09
Don (19) - 'At the end of Dixie's time he got suspended for punching our club secretary.'

Hope he really sparked him.

1930s, I'm imagining Dixie holding his cap in his hands while standing outside a large polished oak door.

He knocks..


Inside is club secretary, Ivor Fortte-Yune, he's dressed in plus-fours, a three inch thick tweed jacket, a jaunty trilby and has a bag of golf clubs over his shoulder.

IF-Y: "Now look Dizzy or..whatever it is you call yourself, I'm very busy so let's cut to the chase - what's all this nonsense about a pay rise?"

DD: "Well sir, I did break the goalscoring record with 60 goals in a season, I've scored over 30 hat-tricks and I think it's fair to say I bring in the punt..."

IF-Y: "Yes, yes, I'm sure that's all jolly good, but I'm a rugger man myself and have no idea what any of that means. So listen why not be a good chap and drop this rise nonsense and just to show no hard feelings (flicks a tanner across the table) go and have a six penn'eth of chips or..whatever filth it is that you chaps eat..on me!"


Teeth and golf clubs akimbo, hair previously slapped down neatly (with half a pound of Blue Cap lard) now looking like the 'style' favoured by that John Moores looky-like out of A Flock Of Seagulls - Link

Lenny Kingman
31 Posted 23/01/2017 at 19:57:06
On the same date in time another great Evertonian scored his 250th goal for his club. Not for this club but at least he was wearing blue when he scored that astounding goal.
Dermot Byrne
32 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:02:13
Jesus Lenny, our reasons to celebrate really have dipped. Still, has always made me proud that the blue stripe in the Barcelona shirt looks like our blue.
Jeff Hough
33 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:41:40
Sorry Lenny (31) I couldn't give a shite about what someone does for a rival club. Especially when it takes them a point ahead of us. However, I will certainly raise a glass to Dixie, and also to Gerard's granddad.
Sue Brown
34 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:46:41
Thanks for a great read Mark: Dixie's achievement is all the more amazing considering the physicality of the game and the state of the pitch all those years ago. Today's prima donnas certainly wouldn't hack it.

I remember my granddad telling us stories of this "super man" when my sister and I were kids, and it wasn't till he'd passed away that we were old enough to realise what he'd seen and thought of a million questions we wished we'd asked.

Gerard, great memories, thanks

Rick Tarleton
35 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:37:40
I've told the story on ToffeeWeb of meeting him with my dad in "The Dublin Packet". My dad was one of the Tarleton brothers, the great "Nella" was his brother and Ernie Roderick was his brother-in-law, so my dad, a committed red, when I was eighteen took me over to Chester and we went in.

I tended as all teenagers do to think my dad was exaggerating his own importance, but we went in and Mr Dean, I won't call him "Dixie" he didn't like that title, said, "Hello, Joe, what are you drinking?"

My dad introduced me and told him I was the only Evertonian Tarleton.

Mr Dean sat with us for a good hour after the pub closed drinking tea. He wasn't just humble, he was a really nice bloke. He spoke glowingly of Alex Young and told me to come and see him whenever I was over in Chester.

A gentleman and I treasure that afternoon, I'm over seventy now, but he made time for a kid and treated me with the utmost respect, congratulated me that I was off to university. He was a Corinthian and deserves to be honoured, not just for being a truly great footballer, but for being a special human-being.

Peter Mills
36 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:56:10
Great article Mark, and Gerard #16, a wonderful recollection.

I remember very, very fondly a night with my late Dad a few years ago, in the company of his great friend Dick White, my nephew James Corbett who was in the process of writing one of his tomes, I think the Everton Encyclopaedia, and a fine malt.

Uncle Dick recalled how he was given a sum of money, possibly sixpence, to go to the match of WR's 60th goal. He was four from the front of getting into the Boy's Pen when the gates closed. He sat on the pavement, weeping, at not being able to get into the ground. A man approached him and asked why he was crying, the young boy explained, and the man offered him sufficient money to get in one of the main turnstiles. "Today is the day Dean will score his 60th goal - you must see it".

The young boy had a dilemma. His father was a police sergeant, and had told him never to take money from an unknown man!

Uncle Dick took the money, got in to see the match, went home to confess to his father, who then set about trying to trace the man to thank him for is generosity.

Patrick Murphy
37 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:57:39
I admit I'm not a lover of the honours system, however, if one person deserves to be a 'sir' surely it is William Ralph Dean, an ambassador for the game of football, Everton and England.

When you see some of the people who have been bestowed with such an honour, it makes me mad when those such as WR Dean have not been recognised properly in their own lifetimes and are largely forgotten by the football public, when every young fan of any club should be aware of the man and his achievements.

Can a knighthood be awarded posthumously? if so Everton FC and Evertonians should campaign for WR Dean to be given that honour.

Seamus McCrudden
38 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:19:51
I'm only a youngster compared to some on here but this is a certainly a thread to be celebrated & cherished.
Ray Roche
39 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:42:01
Patrick, the so called "Honours" system makes my blood boil. David sodding Beckham? People are calling for a knighthood ffs! And SIR Andy Murray. What was HE knighted for? Twatting a felt ball about a court? Services to misery? All sorts of sports people are getting honours now for a fraction of the impact that Dean and his like made on their chosen sport...
Dean Adams
40 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:48:21
You cannot be awarded a knighthood after you die, but there must be a title that can be awarded for services to your sport or community in such cases. Perhaps someone should write to the local MPs to raise the issue in Parliament. What with the so-called EFC fan being one!!
Eugene Ruane
41 Posted 23/01/2017 at 23:07:14
Rick # 35 - As a youngster, did you ever meet Peter Kane or any of the other famous fighters of the late 20s/30s/40s?

(sorry to appear nosey but as an interest, boxing is on a par with football for me)

As a kid, through my (late) dad, I knew all about Nel Tarleton and Ernie Roderick and Peter Kane (and Benny Lynch, Tommy Farr, Rinty Monaghan..)

We were also big fans of Joey 'the jab' Singleton and never missed him at the stadium.

Eric Myles
42 Posted 23/01/2017 at 23:25:18
The timeline is a bit confused.

In one paragraph Dixie was 21 the previous season, then later he had his 21st birthday during the season?

Camsell scored 59 the previous season, yet Dixie passed Ted Harper's league record of 43 goals set 2 seasons previous?

Soren Moyer
43 Posted 23/01/2017 at 23:43:17
To Dixie, the greatest Evertonian of all time.
Mick Davies
44 Posted 24/01/2017 at 02:24:23
Eric @ 42, I think "Ted Harper's league record of 43 goals " refers to the top flight; Camsell scored 59 goals in the 2nd Division.
David Ellis
45 Posted 24/01/2017 at 10:07:46
And Rooney just needs to score another 99 to catch Dixie for league goals for his current club – 349 goals for Everton. Not even close.
Lenny Kingman
46 Posted 24/01/2017 at 11:03:32

Maybe he still has those goals in his tank, to rifle in at an indeterminate date for the club he was born to play for. And for whom those 250 goals he would rather have scored.


Just putting my carpentry tools down for one moment Dermot, Dean was a marvel in his day but celebrating the past will not garner trophies in the future. (though Dean is a special case I grant you)

If the day arrives when the stadium emerges in dockland and Rooney is brought in to spearhead a new dawn, then the ghost of the great man Dixie will be disembarking the Birkenhead ferry nearby smiling approvingly at what is to come.

Peter Cummings
47 Posted 24/01/2017 at 15:04:19
A wonderful piece of nostalgia,Mark, and a great read, Dixie was a true 'working class hero' at a time when the game was played for the man in the street and ignored by the establishment and it's hangers on except for a token, and free, attendance at 'important' games like the cup final or certain Internationals,

I would like to think that Dixie would refuse any gong like those accepted by the morons who think that becoming a member of a non existent 'British Empire' is an honour. To Evertonians worldwide, Dixie Dean's greatest honour was to play the game he loved for the team he loved and the 'cloth cap and ARP rattle' thousands who idolised him. (I still have that rattle.)

Rick Tarleton
48 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:10:12
Sorry, Eugene, been out all day losing money at Southwell races. I only met Nel and Ernie. My mum and dad weren't too friendly and mum did her best to keep me away from "the boxing". I had a few trips to the stadium, remember watching Dick Tiger in his early days.

I had great admiration for Ernie and his wife Edna. They had terrible financial advice and lost the pub they'd bought at Wrightington when the taxman caught up. They went from relative wealth to working-class life, Ernie worked as a stoker in the power station at Newsham Park, but they did it with dignity and without moaning.

John G Davies
49 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:20:02
Benny Lynch died early through the booze. In his 30's if I recall. Tough men in tough days.

Watching the boxing over the weekend and a commentator mentioned Archie Moore had a record 140 knockouts... ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY!

To have 140 fights never mind knockouts is unbelievable. Did Peter Kane fight at the home of our neighbours?

Steve Green
50 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:39:15
Rick Tarleton,

I went to the 84 Milk Cup Final by car with a mate of mine along with a good mate of his Lee Tarleton. As I recall he was a red. I know he was from your family... related to Nel. Would he be your son or your nephew perhaps?

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:43:47
Rick (48) I remember Ernie Roderick coming back to his old school, the one I attended, Netherfield Road RC, better known as The Friary, to show us one of his trophies, maybe the Lonsdale Belt, this was around 1949-50.

Rinty Monaghan fought Joe Curran for a Brittish title fight and maybe a World title fight. When Joe died, some of Monty's family came over to Liverpool for the funeral including one of his daughters.

John G Davies – I'm sure Peter Kane fought at Anfield in the forties, some big fights were held there.

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:00:34
Martin (#29), yes, there would be no harm done if Dixie and his family received some recognition for his great career. I think it would have been a lot more satisfying if the great man had been rewarded, financially, during his career.

The great baseball player, Babe Ruth, who scored a record 60 home runs around the same time as Dixie scored his 60 league goals in a season, was amazed when he met Dixie, before a big football game, to learn that Dixie only received £12 per game. He said "This big crowd, loads who have come especially to see you and that's all you get?"

The irony is none of the players then, expected anything more than they were being paid. The further irony is they were slaves then on buttons and dozens of players now get more in a week than great players like Dixie earned in their entire career, and still don't think they are getting enough.

Rick Tarleton
53 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:12:18
Lee is actually Brian's son, and Brian was my cousin. I don't know Lee, like so many families we're living all over the place. Of Nel's family I occasionally see Sandra and exchange Christmas cards with one of Ernie's children.
Colin Glassar
54 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:35:36
Brilliant article which I hadn't read until now. I didn't have a clue someone had scored 59 goals only the season before.

I doubt his record will ever be beaten but that's what they said about The Babe's record or Bob Beamon.

It makes me laugh when people try and minimise the players, and records, of old saying they wouldn't be able to compete in today's game. With the same conditioning, diets, health care etc, they bloody well would.

Eugene Ruane
55 Posted 25/01/2017 at 12:09:21
Thanks Rick (#48).

I was a bit too young to see Tiger but know he once fought a feller called Randy Sandy.

I also seem to remember a (pub) question about two word champion boxers who lived in the same street in Liverpool (not at the same time)

One was Tiger, the other was Bassey (but don't know the street and it could be bollocks).. Link

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 25/01/2017 at 12:48:40
Eugene. (55) I saw that fight between Dick Tiger and Randy Sandy at the Liverpool Stadium, Tiger was on the up but lost on points over ten rounds.

When I say Tiger was on the up I mean after a very poor record starting his career, I think he lost three or four of his first fights, he was putting a run of wins together, in fact I think he beat Randy Sandy in the return fight but it wasn't in Liverpool.

Dick had changed his manager and went on to win the middleweight and light heavy world titles, he lost a lot of his money when the Nigerian civil war took place, he belonged to the losing tribe and was barred from Nigeria after the war and lived in America.

The two fighters who lived in the same street were more than likely have been Dick Tiger and the late Hogan Kid Bassey. another favourite at the Stadium, one of his biggest supporters was the Labour MP Bessie Braddock who attended many of his fights, Hogan has a lot of family still living in Liverpool, although I believe he returned to live in Nigeria.

Andrew James
57 Posted 25/01/2017 at 00:13:49
On William Ralph, he played during a compelling era for us – wasn't it League Title, relegation, League Title then FA Cup or something?

A time where injuries meant players were out for ages and sides might have several players off with them reduced to 9 or 8 men.

People now talk about brain trauma so that Dean living so long was a blessing having headed the ball so much in that era.

I was 2 when he passed and yet I still feel a connection thanks to my granddad.

The most important and best pre-war player there was.

Eugene Ruane
58 Posted 26/01/2017 at 09:25:11
Thanks, Dave (#56), great stuff, have to say I'm envious.
Will Mabon
59 Posted 26/01/2017 at 09:40:39
Patrick (post 37):

I know where you're coming from about formal recognition for Dean, but it was a long time ago. The football world was more pure and unpretentious in Dixie's day, compared with the endless peripheral hype of today.

I imagine that most of the players back then were happy to recognize and be recognized by their peers within the game, and their loyal fans. The cups and trophies, all the cups and trophies, were the real prize. Awards from outside might have felt a bit uncomfortable and unseemly for sportsmen in those dignified times. People had given their lives in the war, after all.

Mind you, to play with those footballs, on some of those pitches, in those boots, for that money (or not)... I think they all deserved some kind of medal! A completely different world.

I must say though, I've spoken with quite a few kids and younger fans of other clubs that do know of Dixie Dean. The legend is still being shared.

Derek Cowell
60 Posted 26/01/2017 at 16:27:28
Someone managed to get me Dixie's autograph made out to me at an Isle of Man Evertonians' dinner in 1970 when he was guest of honour. An appropriate year, I've always thought! I still have it written on the reverse of the entrance ticket.

It was equally appropriate that he suffered his fatal heart attack at a derby game at Goodison Park (which we probably lost, as usual!). As did the great Harry Catterick, if my mind serves me well (also probably another defeat!). I may stand to be corrected on these points but that is what I've always been led to believe and I do have some distant memory of both occurring.

As a side issue, didn't Dixie actually score 100 goals in all appearances in 1927-28? This included all EFC 1st team games and internationals. It may even have included the Liverpool Senior Cup which was taken seriously in those days.

Keith Young
61 Posted 28/01/2017 at 07:38:14
In today's Times newspaper, the Obituary of Lord Lyall, former politician & landowner, mentioned that he was a lifelong Evertonian whose ashes will be spread on Goodison's hallowed ground.

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