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Merseyside hardmen: Record-breaking Everton FC goalscorer Dixie Dean cheated death
Published : 12 Jan 2010 09:00:00Rss feed
Dixie Dean of Everton shoots for goal at Goodison Park NEVER booked, never sent-off, Dixie Dean was regarded as one of football's gentlemen. But equally there is no doubt that Everton's legendary centre-forward belongs in the pantheon of Mersey hard men. To play your football in an era when strikers were routinely assaulted - Dean famously lost a testicle early in his career - and not retaliate takes enormous disicpline and character. But that setback was a trifle compared to the enormous obstacle Dean overcame as a 19-year-old. Quite simply, Dean battled back from death's door. Even the most ill-informed football fan knows that Bill 'Dixie' Dean scored a record breaking 60 league goals in the 1927/28 season. But fewer are aware that just 12 months before the start of that remarkable campaign Dean nearly died. The youngster suffered appalling injuries in a motocycle accident in North Wales with a girlfriend and Thomas Keates' Jubilee History of Everton Football Club recorded: 'Doctors were afraid he could not live for many hours. 'His survival astonished them. When recovery was assured the medical pronouncement was 'This man will never be able to play football again.' 'Play again he did, to such startling affect that romantic tales began to surround his spell in hospital.'