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Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05

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In His Own Words: Dixie Dean

We revisit some of the striker's greatest quotes.

In His Own Words: Dixie Dean
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This weekend Everton are asking fans to look back and reminisce on eras gone by with the Premier League visit of Hull City dedicated to all things retro.

Glance over 135 years of glorious history and plenty of famous names and moments stand out.

League winners, FA Cup heroes and countless stars of the international stage have all plied their trade on the hallowed Goodison Park turf.

But none have made quite the same impact as William Ralph 'Dixie' Dean.

His Club record of 383 goals in 433 games seems destined to last for eternity, while his tally of 60 league strikes in 1927/28 looks equally unlikely to be matched.

Dean died of a heart attack at Goodison Park in March 1980, minutes after the final whistle of a Merseyside derby.

One of his final interviews, in which he discussed growing up in pre-war Merseyside, supporting Everton and then realising his dream of running out in the royal blue jersey, was recorded in the late 1970s.

Using that interview, discovered and republished in 2005, here we give you 'Dixie' in his own words...

On growing up in a cramped family home…

"I had six sisters. No brothers. They kicked me arse, pulled me, told me to shut up. I went to Laird Street School [in Birkenhead] but when I was about 11 or 12 I used to go at night to sleep at the Albert Industrial School. It was a borstal but I wasn't a convict or anything like that. I went there because we didn't have room at home and, also, I could play football for the Albert School. With having five sisters - the other one Elsie moved out when she got married - as well as my old woman and old fella living above the family fish and chip shop, it was a question of space."

Dixie Dean in 1930.Dixie Dean in action at Goodison Park in 1930.

On how he nurtured one of his most lethal attributes...

"I chalked the outline of a goal on the chapel wall and then threw the ball onto the roof. I'd wait for it to come down and then I'd move in to head it against the wall between the goal posts. Looking back, I am sure this helped me with my heading, but I must say that I was always good at heading. It was a natural gift."

On the occasion he scored 18 goals in one day…

"I was 13 at the time. There was a Birkenhead Boys trial at Prenton Playing Fields in the morning starting at about nine o'clock. I scored six goals in the match and then me and the rest of the lads in the team got on our bikes and dashed down to Birkenhead Park to play another match starting at 11 o'clock. I scored another six goals for them and then in the afternoon played for a team called Melville and scored another six. So that was 18 in three games, so I wasn't too surprised when I got 60 in a season for Everton."

Dixie holds the 1933 FA Cup trophy as Everton board the train at Euston station.Dixie holds the 1933 FA Cup trophy as Everton board the train at Euston station.

On growing up an Evertonian…

"I always had the ambition to play for Everton as a boy. When I was at school we wore blue jerseys and on the night before a match I would sleep in mine because it meant so much. And I'd dream of playing in Everton blue. It was a dream that came true and I loved every minute."

On knocking back other clubs in the hope he'd sign for Everton…

"You see, I was just waiting for one club to come for me and that was Everton. They were the only club I ever wanted to play for. I wouldn't have gone to Liverpool, only Everton."

On the afternoon he reached his record-breaking 60 league goals in a single season...

"It wasn't until about four minutes from the end that we got a corner kick on the left. Alec Troup took the kick. He was so precise with those corners that he could have laid the ball on one of the hairs on my head. Any rate, he sent over this beautiful corner kick and that sailed in. I just butted the ball in. The crowd invaded the pitch and I got more whiskers on my face from the Scotland Road lads than Soft Joe. You see, these lads swarmed all round me, some of them rubbing their faces against mine and a lot of them hadn't shaved that day. 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 who walks on the water. I think he's the only one."

Dixie Dean nets against the Gunners in 1936, but can't prevent the Blues from losing 3-2.Dean nets against Arsenal in 1936.

On his record of 19 goals in 17 games against Liverpool...

"There was nothing quite like quietening that Kop. When you stuck a goal in there it all went quiet, apart from a bit of choice language aimed in your direction. Scoring there was a delight to me. I just used to turn round to the crowd and bow three times to them. Some of my happiest moments were when I was scoring goals at the Kop End and I am sure that if I was playing today I would be able to quieten that 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'"

Tickets for Saturday's game are still available. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878*.

Alternatively, visit the Park End box office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.

tony fenertyi have had a fridge magnet on my fridge door with this legend on it every time i open the door.. DIXIE DEAN ..FOOTBALLER.GENTLEMAN.EVERTONIAN.. nuff said..

Friday 18th October 20:39 Report Comment

dave lawleySupreme legend

Friday 18th October 14:31 Report Comment


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