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Everton FC 12 days of Christmas - Dixie Dean, football's greatest Number Nine
Published : 21 Dec 2010 15:09:00
MERSEYSIDE football has developed a habit down the years of smashing records to pieces but of all the historic feats accomplished at Goodison Park and Anfield, there is one that stands apart as having redefined the boundaries of the game. When Middlesbrough's George Camsell bagged 59 League goals in the 1926/27 season, he must have thought he had set a marker that would have people talking for generations. What he must have felt like when learning only twelve months later that a 21-year-old from Birkenhead had gone one better can only be imagined. Bill 'Dixie' Dean started his football career at Tranmere Rovers, scoring 27 goals in 30 appearances before crossing the River Mersey to join Everton in 1925 for the princely sum of £3,000, scoring 32 goals in his first full season. A serious motorcyle accident the following summer left Dean with a fractured skull and jaw, and his career in the balance, but it is testament to the centre-forwards' spirit and durability that he came back better than ever. He started the 1927/28 season like a man in a hurry to make up for lost time, scoring 16 times in the first 9 games, including all five in a 5-2 win over Manchester United. Further hat-tricks against Portsmouth, Leicester, Aston Villa and Liverpool (at Anfield) followed as Everton's strong form raised hopes of a first title win since the year The Great War had broken out.