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*](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)The Legend of Dixie Dean
When a club can boast of an existence since 1878, and is a founding member of the English Premier League, plus has remained in the the top flight of English soccer for over 100 years you must think of the lore and a history a club of this magnitude can offer.
Like the legend of Babe Ruth has endured the ages in Major League Baseball , in England and at Everton F.C. the legend of Dixie Dean is rivaled by none.
Sure the club has had historic names that are legendary in England.
Names like Alan Ball, Joe Mercer, Peter Reid, Kevin Sheedy, Andy Gray, Neville Southall, Gary Lineker and Howard Kendall to name only a few.
There is something about these Evertonians and their support of their club.
And support of their players like the legendary Dixie Dean.
He is considered the greatest center forward and greatest goal scorer of all time.
Based on his goals scoring records Dean is no myth.
His full name was William Ralph Dean and according to history he despised the nickname Dixie.
In the book the Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame by David France he is called the greatest marksman that football has ever known
Dean is a huge part of Everton history having scored an amazing 349 goals in 399 league games from 1924-1938.
During the 1927/28 season he connected an amazing 60 times in 39 games which still stands as a record that holds today as he led Everton to the title.
"It speaks for itself," says author David France who has co-authored numerous books on his beloved Everton.
"He was the Babe Ruth, an icon in the late 20s and 30s. The stature of the man speaks for itself."
Considering that top current goal scorers like Arsenal's Thierry Henry are hitting 25-30 and winning goal scoring titles the mark by Dean seems out of this world.
In fact it was Henry with 30 that led the Premiership this year but his 30 goals pale in comparison to the 60 Dean hit in 1927/28. It also fall way shy of the 45 Dean scored in 1931/32.
You get the point.
This guy was a goalscorer in any league and any time period.
Before you say things were different back in the game during the 1927/28 consider the fact the average amount of goals being scored per game is very similar.
Dean appeared 16 times for England and in 433 appearances for Everton scored an amazing 383 goals.
Not only was he a goalscorer of immense proportions but he was also universally revered for his sportsmanship.
Dean passed away in 1980 at Goodison Park, the home field of Everton, and according to Evertonians his spirit remains there.
I can't imagine that one player goes through this club without spending considerable thought about a player named Dixie Dean.
In death Dixie Dean remains a huge asset for Everton F.C.
When Everton F.C. runs out at Reliant Stadium on July 29 and August 1 to take
on Pachuca and Club America somehow you get the feeling that the spirit of Dixie
Dean will be there also.
Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former
U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for
ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches
for the Fox Network as well. He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour
with Glenn Davis" radio show on 90.1KPFT FM Radio every Sunday from 5-6 pm. Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league
all star selection and team captain.