Growth type: Early/Lasting
One of the greatest goal scorers in British football history, Dixie Dean was a focused striker. His statistics speak for themselves: 379 goals in 438 games, 28 goals in FA Cup matches, and 18 in only 16 caps for the national team. In his first five games of his International career he scored 12 goals. His most incredible feat was 60 goals in only 39 games during the 1927-28 season. The title of 59 goals was held by Middlesborough's George Camsell. On the last day of the 1927-1928 season, Dixie Dean entered the game vs. Arsenal with 57 goals, and broke the record with his hat-trick goal, heading the ball in during the closing minutes of the match. Considered one of the toughest players, he did all of this despite serious injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident at the age of 19, and once loosing a testicle in a challange.
Matt Busby played against Dean several times. In his autobiography he pointed out:
"To play against Dixie Dean was at once a delight and a nightmare. He was a perfect specimen of an athlete, beautifully proportioned, with immense strength, adept on the ground but with extraordinary skill in the air. However close you watched him, his timing in the air was such that he was coming down before you got anywhere near him, and he hit that ball with his head as hard and as accurate as most players could kick it. Defences were close to panic when corners came over. And though he scored a huge tally of goals with headers he was an incredibly unselfish and amazingly accurate layer-off of chances for others. He was resilient in face of the big, tough centre-halves of his clay - and I cannot think of one centre-half today to match up with that lot, though it was often the unstoppable force against the immovable object - and he was a thorough sportsman."
Eddie Hapgood, the Arsenal full-back agreed:
"Dixie Dean, a wizard with his feet, but just as deadly with his head, as strong as a house, and just as hard to knock off the ball, as clean in his play as a new pin, a great sportsman, and a trier to the end. Dixie was always a tough handful, not only because he was so big and fast, but because he used to roam out on to the wings, taking the centre-half with him, and, frequently, slipping him, making it extremely hard for the rest of the defence to keep some sort of order."