FreeStand Films team are delighted that our cameraman in Australia, Russell Hyde from Russell Hyde Photography, has recorded the first ever filmed interview with Dixie Dean’s eldest son Bill, here pictured at home with his wife Kath in Mandurah, 45 miles south of Perth, Western Australia.
Bill emigrated to Australia in 1967 but his memories of his formative years on Merseyside and his legendary father are still vivid, including seeing Dixie play in post war charity games.
And even though the iconic centre forward had hung up his boots as a professional at the outbreak of war Bill recalls that he still possessed the skill and balance to beat defenders and score goals with the style and panache he demonstrated for Everton and England.
In a wide ranging interview Bill, now 85, talks about his childhood when Dixie and the family lived in an Everton club house in Goodison Avenue, then adjacent to the stadium but now demolished.
Later Bill worked for Dixie when he ran the Dublin Packet pub in Chester –still an active hostelry – and he remembers his father demonstrating his renowned tap dancing skills on the wooden lift-up door that led to the pub cellar.
“He’d have been in his late forties then and his technique was superb, “ Bill recalls. “He was also a fine ballroom dancer and I’m sure his great balance helped him on the football field.”
Bill also compares and contrasts today’s game with the era of his father and his contribution to our documentary is fascinating and invaluable.
We are excited, too, at the prospect of Dixie’s daughter Barbara and grand-daughter Melanie also revealing their memories and recollections of English football’s greatest centre forward.