Monday, 3 May 2010

Pensby - Dixie Dean

Pensby has few claims to fame - it's best one being that the famous Everton FC footballer Dixie Dean played for Pensby Institute in his early days, on the fields at the side of Gills Lane. He was sold to Tranmere Rovers prior to movinmg on to Everton. The fee for the sale to Tranmere was the price of a new kit for the Pensby team.

William Ralph Dean (22 January 1907 – 1 March 1980), popularly known as Dixie, was an English football player and the most prolific goal-scorer in English football history, best known for his legendary exploits at Everton, where he spent most of his career.

In total, Dean scored 383 goals for Everton, in 433 appearances, an exceptional strike-rate,including 37 hat-tricks for Everton, With modern scoring rates being much lower, both that record, and the record of 60 League goals in a season, are unlikely to ever be broken. He was also known as a very professional player, having never been booked or sent off throughout his entire career despite suffering rough treatment and provocation from opponents.

He also made 16 appearances for England, scoring 18 goals, including two hat-tricks. Dean scored three against Belgium in May 1927 and then another three against Luxembourg 10 days later.

Dean died in March 1980 after suffering a Heart attack at Goodison Park, Everton's home ground, whilst watching a match against their closest rivals, Liverpool. The match finished 1-2. In 2001, local sculptor Tom Murphy completed a statue of Dean which was erected outside the Park End of the stadium at a cost of £75,000 carrying the inscription, "Footballer, Gentleman, Evertonian". In 2002 Dean became an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame.

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