1878 - 1930
Stories of the Era
William Ralph Dean scored 27 goals in 27 games for Tranmere Rovers before being enticed across the River Mersey - and his arrival was the catalyst for a glorious chapter in the history of Everton Football Club.
In Dean's first full season, 1925-26, he scored 32 league goals in 38 games. In his next he netted 21 in 27 and then, in 1927-28, he created history.
In what was to become a record-breaking season for Dixie Dean, the forward began in blistering form with 17 goals in nine games, with all five for the hosts in a 5-2 win over Manchester United.
Dean drew a blank in the 1-1 home derby against Liverpool, but missed the 7-0 thrashing of West Ham the week later.
He then returned with 26 in 18 games between October and February leaving him 16 goals short of Middlesbrough striker George Camsell's record of 59, with 13 games to play.
The Club then went four games without scoring and on the morning of March 24, were three points behind leaders Huddersfield Town - who had finished runners-up the year before and would also reach the 1928 FA Cup final.
But Dean seemed to make it his mission to both break Camsell's record and subsequently carry Everton to league championship glory in one foul swoop.
He scored 14 in eight games as Thomas McIntosh's players won six and drew two and led Huddersfield by three points, but had played twice more.
One game remained in Everton's and Dean's season, with him two goals short of the goal-target and if the Terriers were to win all three of their final fixtures, they would be champions.
But Huddersfield immediately handed the initiative to Dean and his team-mates when they suffered a 1-0 reverse at home to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United. And then a 3-0 away defeat to Aston Villa meant that Everton were crowned champions by avoiding a loss against Arsenal in the final fixture.
But there was still one last hurdle; Dean had to score at least two equal the 59-goal-haul of Camsell and a hat-trick to set a new record.
Incredibly, Dean had equalled the Boro forward's tally within the first six minutes of the Gunners' clash with a brace to cancel out James Shaw's second-minute opener.
But Jack O'Donnell's own goal, sent the teams in 2-2 at the break and the scores stayed that way until eight minutes from time when history was made - Dixie climbed highest in the Arsenal area to head his 11th Everton hat-trick - his seventh that season alone - and more importantly, the 60th goal of the season.
Shaw would equalise with four minutes to play, but that was after the 'Lord Mayor's show' as Dean would go down in folklore.
Needless to say, Everton ended the season as Champions again but, astonishingly, relegation was to befall the club before more top honours were won.
Two seasons after finishing top, Everton finished rock-bottom despite winning four of their last five games - slipping through the relegation trap door for the very first time to begin the 1930s in the Second Division.