William Ralph “Dixie” Dean

Dixie Dean, without any shadow of a doubt, was not only Everton’s greatest ever goalscorer, but the greatest goalscorer the world has ever seen. Indeed, his reputation as an internationally revered footballer was confirmed when an Italian prisoner of war said upon his capture in the Second World War : “F*cka your Winston Churchill, and F*cka your Deexie Dean”

Not only did William Ralph “Dixie” Dean earn respect from fans of football, but his peers were also full of praise, Bill Shankly famously said, “Dixie was the greatest centre forward there will ever be. His record of goalscoring is the most amazing thing under the sun.”

When Dean scored his mammoth haul of 60 goals in one season, one particular journalist at the time made perhaps the most staggering miscalculations in Sports journalism when he wrote : “Dean, the Everton and England centre forward, attained a record number of goals. His total of 60 in one season sets up a record which now seems destined to be broken every season”

If only he had the benifit of hindsight!!

Dean was perhaps more accurate. “People ask me if that 60-goal record will ever be beaten. I think it will. But there’s only one man who’ll do it. That’s the fella that walks on the water. I think he’s about the only one.”

Season League Apps Cup Apps League Goals Cup Goals Total Apps Total Goals Int. Apps Int. Goals
1924-25
7
0
2
0
7
2
1925-26
38
2
32
1
40
33
1926-27
27
4
21
3
31
24
5
12
1927-28
39
2
60
3
41
63
5
4
1928-29
29
1
26
0
30
26
3
1
1929-30
25
2
23
2
27
25
1930-31
37
5
39
9
42
48
1
0
1931-32
38
1
45
1
39
46
1
1
1932-33
39
6
24
5
45
29
1
0
1933-34
12
0
9
0
12
9
1934-35
38
5
26
1
43
27
1935-36
29
0
17
0
29
17
1936-37
36
4
24
3
40
27
1937-38
5
0
1
0
5
1
Total
399
32
349
28
431
377
16
18

The table above shows Dean’s scoring feat in all it’s glory, 377 goals in 431 matches, this included 43 hat-tricks, 37 of them in Everton colours, 3 for Tranmere, 2 for England, and 1 whilst representing the English League in Inter League tournements.

There have been many tributes to Dixie Dean, but one of my particular favourites is this one, written by a Liverpool fan ironically enough, enitled “The Goodison Giant – A Kopite’s Tribute”

“A long time ago when I was a lad,

Folk spoke of a genius Everton had,

The greatest goalscorer the world’s ever seen,

Who went by the name William Ralph Dean.

This man was so lethal with the flick of his head,

He’d leave goalies flat out as if they were dead,

This working class hero was humble and poor,

He never bragged of the goals that he scored,

No flashy clothes, and no trendy car,

He’d drink with the Gwladys Street fans in the bar,

He never cared much for money or fame,

He just loved the Blues and the footballing game,

Though I was too young to have seen Dixie play,

His feats are remembered and talked of today,

I grew up an urchin down old Scotty Road,

No shoes on my feet, and a small, snotty nose,

We kicked cans on the cobbles each kid with one dream,

One day we’d be legend’s, just like Dixie Dean.”

There are books devoted to the memory of William Ralph “Dixie” Dean, and, while we would love to do the great man the justice he deserves on this site, we feel that we could never hope to come close to the image these books paint of the great man himself. One thing, though, stands out from all others about Dixie. For all his great goalscoring, he was still the man he was born to be, a true man of the people who adored him so much, a true “Working Class Hero”

Below are a selection of the books about Dixie which are available from Amazon.co.uk – there are, of course, more available from other good bookshops, and we would encourage you all to find at least one book about the great man, and challenge you to read it without tears of pride forming at least once!

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