The Dixie Dean Statue outside of Goodison Park has been moved a few hundred yards to outside the Park End Box Office, a tad closer to where he scored his record breaking 60th goal in 1927-28.
Born in Birkenhead during 1907, William Ralph Dean signed for Everton in 1925 from Tranmere Rovers for a fee of £3,000, and became one of greatest goal scorers in English football history.
Dean made his debut against Arsenal and Highbury 21st March 1925 and made seven appearances, scoring twice, in his first season. His second term with the club was to show what Everton and their fans were going to enjoy during his time with the club. Scoring 32 goals in 38 games Dean was just six goals short of the then league record of 38, held by another Everton player, Bert Freeman.
In the summer of 1926 not only was Dean´s football career in jeopardy, but his life was in severe danger. Following a motorcycle accident, which saw his skull and jaw fractured, doctors were afraid he would not live more than a few hours. Dean astonished them by surviving, only for the medical team to announce that he would never play football again. History shows they where wrong twice.
Dean´s recovery was nothing short of miraculous and he returned to a struggling Everton team that was in urgent need of inspiration. The team had only won one game in the first thirteen before Dean was fit to play. Following his return the team´s fortunes changed and they just avoided relegation by four points with Dean scoring twenty one goals in just twenty seven games.
The next season was to be a triumph for both Dixie Dean and Everton, the team were to win their third League title while Dean was to score more goals in one season than anyone before or since. The English league record had been set the previous season when G Camseel scored 59 for Middlesgrough in division 2, the 1st division record had been set two seasons earlier by E Harper of Blackburn Rovers with 43.
Dean started the season like a train with sixteen goals in the first nine games, which included all five in a 5-2 win against Manchester United. He continued to score freely but in March 1928 Everton went four games in a row without scoring and this not only put Dean´s scoring record in doubt but also the League title. With only nine games left Dean needed seventeen goals to claim the record, he netted ten in the first seven of these games. The penultimate game of the season was against Burnley and amazingly Dean was to score four times to set up a grand stand finish at Goodison in the final game of the season against Arsenal.
With the championship secured Everton went all out to help Dean score the three he needed. Two of the goals needed were scored in the first half, one a header from a Critchley corner and the other a penalty when Dean himself was brought down. There were just eight minutes left when Alec Troup floated a perfect cross deep into the heart of the Arsenal defence. The penalty area was packed but one man rose above all and from Troup´s superb cross Dean headed his sixtieth goal of the season.
The ground erupted as history was made and the cheering lasted until the end of the game. In order that he was not mobbed at the end of the game Dean, with the permission of the referee, left the pitch early to a standing ovation.
During the next two seasons Dixie Dean was to play only 54 out of a possible 84 games, scoring 49 goals, and Everton were relegated at the end of the 1929-30 season. The club were promoted at the first attempt scoring an amazing 121 goals in finishing top of the 2nd division, Dean collected 39 of them in 37 games.
The following season saw Everton claim their fourth 1st division title, remarkable considering they had only just been promoted. Dixie Dean was not only to top the list of Everton goal scorers but was crowned the top scorer in England when he amassed a huge total of 44 goals.
1933 saw another trophy presented to Dixie Dean when he captained an Everton side that won the FA Cup for just the second time, beating Manchester City 3-0 in the final at Wembley.
Although Dean continued to score on a regular basis he did not reach the heights of previous years and success eluded both the player and the club. The last two full seasons of Dixie Dean´s saw the club struggle against relegation and 1937 he was to part company with his beloved Everton.
He played for Notts County for a time and then for Sligo Rovers in Ireland and after retiring he went into pub management and later as security manager with the Littlewoods organisation.
William Ralph Dean died 1st March 1980 at Goodison Park minutes after watching the Merseyside derby. On 4th May 2001 a bronze statue of Dixie Dean was unveiled at the Park End of Goodison Park, the location chosen because it was at this end that he scored his 60th goal in 1927-28.
William Ralph Dean´s full record while with Everton :
League appearances 399, goals 349