William Ralph Dean (January 22, 1907-March 1, 1980), popularly known as Dixie Dean, was an English football player, one of the most prolific centre forwards in English football history, who is best known for his exploits at Everton.
Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, Dean initially played for his local club, Tranmere Rovers, before moving to Everton for a fee of £3,000 in 1925, and immediately made an impact, scoring 32 goals in his first full season.
Despite a serious motorcycle accident in 1926, where he suffered a fractured skull and jaw, Dean fully recovered and went on to greater success at the club. He is still the only player in English football to have scored 60 League goals in one season (1927/28); in the same season Everton won the Division One title. Although Everton were relegated to Division Two in 1930, Dean stayed with them, and the club subsquently won the Second Division in 1931, followed by the First Division again in 1932, and the FA Cup in 1933.
By then, Dean was captain of the side. However, the harsh physical demands of the game took their toll, and he was dropped from the first team in 1937. Dean went on to play for Notts County and then Sligo Rovers in Ireland. After retiring, he went on to run a pub and work as a security manager for Littlewoods.
In total, Dean scored a total of 383 goals for Everton, in 433 appearances, an exceptional strike-rate. With modern scoring rates being much lower, both that record, and the record of 60 League goals in a season, are unlikely to ever be broken. Only Arthur Rowley has scored more English league career goals. In addition, he was never booked or sent off throughout his entire career.
He also made 16 appearances for England, scoring 18 goals.
His nickname "Dixie" is said to have been given to him by fans due to his dark complexion and curly black hair, which was, in their perception, similar to that of African-Americans in the Southern United States. Dean himself deeply disliked the moniker, preferring to be known as Bill.
Dean died in 1980 at Goodison Park, Everton's home ground, whilst watching a match against their closest rivals, Liverpool. In 2001, a statue of Dean was erected outside the Park End of the stadium.