When I saw Dixie Dean in person, no one comes close to him—he was the greatest, unreal

When I saw Dixie Dean in person, no one comes close to him—he was the greatest, unreal

Sports artist Paul Trevillion has disclosed that his inspiration for illustrating players heading the ball comes from watching legendary Everton centre-forward Dixie Dean play 87 years ago today.

Despite being a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan, Trevillion’s admiration for

Dean stems from his childhood encounter at Goodison Park.

Trevillion, who turns 90 next month, has had a prolific career spanning over 70 years,

immortalizing numerous sports icons in his illustrations. However, it is Dean who remains his

original and most revered football hero.

His fascination with Dean dates back to a FA Cup replay between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton on February 22, 1937, shortly before his third birthday. Dean’s presence on the pitch, alongside his young successor Tommy Lawton, captivated the young fan, despite his allegiance to Tottenham.

Witnessing Dean’s exceptional aerial ability during the match left a lasting impression on Trevillion.

He recalls Dean’s powerful headers and his unmatched leap, which influenced all of

Trevillion’s subsequent drawings of players heading the ball.

Despite finally meeting his idol 23 years later and collaborating with him on Dean’s illustrated life story for the ECHO, Trevillion’s memory of Dean’s prowess on the pitch remains vivid.

He attributes his iconic illustrations of airborne players to Dean’s extraordinary abilities,

emphasizing that every depiction of a player in the air is based on Dean’s technique and athleticism.

For Trevillion, Dixie Dean’s impact transcends his era, as his influence continues to

shape the artistry of football illustrations to this day.

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