Dixie Creates History
EVERTON 3 ARSENAL 3
5 May 1928
Everton had already clinched the league championship when Arsenal came to Goodison Park on the last day of the season in 1928... but there was unbelievable excitement ahead of the match.
Dixie Dean had plundered six goals in the previous two matches to take his league total for the season to an incredible 57 - two short of the record established by Middlesbrough's George Camsell just 12 months earlier.
Dean, therefore, needed a hat-trick to achieve immortality and the crowd turned out willing him to get it.
Arsenal took the lead after just two minutes and threatened to spoil the party. However, the actual result of the match was secondary to Dean's target and the ground erupted when the great man netted an Everton equaliser shortly after.
Not much more time had elapsed when the Toffees were awarded a penalty after Dean himself had been upended inside the Arsenal box. There was only ever going to be one taker and he duly obliged by driving his spot-kick low into the bottom corner of the net. Dixie 2 Arsenal 1.
The Gunners, though, were in no mood to stand aside and watch history being created and levelled the score before the break.
Everton were attempting to get the ball to their centre-forward at every opportunity and this, it seemed, hindered their general play.
The second half seemed to pass by very quickly and Goodison held its collective breath as time, and the improbable record, ebbed away.
With just eight minutes to go, Everton won a corner and, when Alec Troup floated the kick into the penalty area, Dean soared above the Arsenal defence to head the ball powerfully into the net.
The explosion of noise was a mixture of sheer elation and relief to acknowledge an achievement that will never be beaten.
Not even a late Arsenal goal to make the final score 3-3 could take the shine off a day that will forever live in the annals of football history.