Dixie’s first Goodison hat-trick

William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean was arguably the greatest player of all time and he was undoubtedly the greatest player to pull on a royal blue jersey. When he signed for the Blues on the 17th of March 1925 from Tranmere Rovers, Everton had beaten off a plethora of other clubs to his signature and it wasn’t long before he started repaying the massive £2500 fee.

In a memorable career Dean scored many hat-tricks, his first came at Burnley on the 17th of October 1925. His first at Goodison arrived the following Saturday when Leeds came to Goodison. Just three minutes had passed when Dixie’s fine shot went in off a post. Dean’s anticipation of the early forward ball served him well and the 28,000 in attendance showed their appreciation.

Leeds keeper, Johnson, was lucky not to see the Elland Road side go two down when an amazing scramble in his area resulted in the ball getting trapped underneath several players. Somehow he managed to clear but it was not long before Dean increased his tally.

Sam Chedgzoy made a break down the wing and whipped the ball into the centre. Dean came charging forward and although he was being paid close attention by a defender somehow managed to get his head to the ball. The ball ended up in the corner of the net and the Blues were to up.

Chedgzoy was a constant thorn in the Leeds team’s side, his swashbuckling runs and deadly crossing causing the Yorkshiremen all sorts of problems. The Blues though failed to increase their lead until the 37th minute when Kennedy scored through a first time drive following more outstanding work from the winger.

The 3-0 lead was well deserved but Leeds were not about to throw in the towel just yet. The Leeds centre forward Jennings rattled the cross bar with Menham well beaten but just moments later Leeds forlorn hopes of a comeback were all but dashed. In front of his beloved Gwladys Street Dean despatched goal number four for the Blues and his own personal hat-trick was complete.

The young, Birkenhead born striker’s achievement was greeted with a loud cheer from his adoring fans. Unsurprisingly the architect of the goal was that man Chedgzoy again. The forward went on another mazy run down the wing and played in the perfect cross for Dean. Dean poked out a foot and slammed the ball passed the helpless keeper.

Wainscott pulled one back for Leeds after 63 minutes but a minute later the Leeds player was badly injured and had to be taken to hospital. It was later revealed that he had dislocated his elbow. Tiny Scottish winger Alec Troup was also causing havoc amongst the Leeds defence and he was turning defenders inside out creating space for his fellow forwards. Dean and Chedgzoy both profited from his hard work and tireless running.

Reduced to ten men Leeds battled gamely and Jennings reduced the Blues lead to just two but the Blues were cruising now and didn’t take much heed to this second ‘consolation’ goal. The day belonged to Dixie. This would not be the first time that the crowd went home with his name on their lips. In the space of a fortnight a Goodison hero had emerged. At the age of 19, the young man had the football world at his feet and he was not about to throw away the chance of becoming a Goodison legend.

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