Losing a testicle in a reserve game, kicking giant rats and voluntarily going to borstal: Dixie Dean, the one striker who Erling Haaland can't match

Dixie Dean Everton striker
(Image credit: Getty Images)

William ‘Dixie’ Dean was the epitome of the rugged British centre-forward: strong as a rhino, and often playing like one. 

While his goalscoring record has gone down in English football history as simply unbeatable – just ask Manchester City striker Erling Haaland – if you want to know how rough the game was in Dixie’s era, consider this: playing in a reserves match for Tranmere when he was 16, Dean was challenged so ferociously that he lost a testicle.

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Chris Flanagan
Senior Staff Writer

Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from more than 20 countries, in places as varied as Ivory Coast and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering the World Cup, AFCON and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.

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