Another little boy had the same dream back in 1907, fortunately he was one of the lucky ones and his dream came true. You can find him in all the great sporting history books, yet you can also find him outside Goodison Park, cast in bronze...his name is Dixie Dean.
For diehard supporters of the blue, this man will need little introduction. For those of you who don’t know Dixie Dean was one of Everton’s most esteemed players and the most prolific goal scorer in the whole of football history.
Born in Birkenhead our lad Dixie, who was actually born William Ralph Dean, had always been a keen Everton supporter after watching them win the championship in 1915. He spent much of his childhood chasing the ball and dreamed of little else. He spent his younger adult years driving a train and working the night shift with only the rate for company so he could spend his days pursuing his love of football. The dreams dedication paid off and Dixie was soon signed to Tranmere Rovers. Yet in 1925 a deal was struck with Everton and suffice to say Dixie was over the moon.
His passion for Everton shone through and he scored a record breaking 61 goals in only one season with the team. His startling ability continued throughout his career and Dixie Dean became somewhat of a sporting icon and a hero to fans. Even after he left Everton in 1937 as the physical demands of the game began to take their toll. He still went on to have a proud career with Notts County and Ashton United.
Dixie Dean was more than a football player, his charisma and charm made a sporting icon out of him that was recognized across the globe. A year after the unveiling of his memorial statue he went on to be inaugurated in the Football Hall of Fame. Yet how did he get his nickname? It is said that he and his family despised the all too familiar nickname. Some say he got the name Dixie due to his dark hair and complexion being similar to that of the people in the Southern United States. Others say it was the corruption of an old childhood nick name resulting from an overzealous game of tag when Digsy, named so for his method of digging children too hard in the back, became Dixie.
Sadly Dixie passed away in 1980 at the age of 73. The famous footballer had been watching his favorite team play against close rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park when he suffered a heart attack.
Yet his legacy will live on, in 2001 the beautiful bronze statue was unveiled showing Dixie Dean alive and well participating in the game that made his world complete. The memorial statue (http://www.photocast.co.uk/