John Deans

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This article is about the footballer. For the former RAF World War II bomber pilot and POW camp leader, see James 'Dixie' Deans.
John Deans
Personal information
Full name John Kelly Deans
Date of birth (1946-07-30) 30 July 1946 (age 68)
Place of birth Johnstone, Scotland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Neilston Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965 Albion Rovers (trialist) 1 (0)
1965–1971 Motherwell 152 (78)
1971–1976 Celtic 126 (89)
1976–1977 Luton Town 14 (6)
1977 Carlisle United (loan) 4 (2)
1977 Partick Thistle (loan) 6 (2)
Total 303 (177)
National team
1974 Scotland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Kelly Deans (born 30 July 1946[1]), commonly known as Dixie Deans was a Scottish footballer. He played centre-forward for Celtic in the 1970s, under the management of Jock Stein, and was a prolific goal-scorer. He was nicknamed "Dixie" in honour of the great English & Everton F.C. centre-forward Dixie Dean.

Deans joined Motherwell from Neilston Juniors in 1965 and spent six seasons with the Fir Park side.[2] He signed for Celtic in a £17,500 deal in 1971 but was unable to play for Celtic immediately as he was, at the time, serving a 6 match ban.(During this period he spent his free time working in the Paisley office of the Evening Times.) He played for the Hoops until 1976. During this time he scored 132 goals in just 184 games for the club and set several scoring records. The six goals he struck in a defeat of Partick Thistle is a post-war record for goals scored in a single game, especially notable as Partick's goalkeeper on the occasion was the Scotland custodian Alan Rough. He is also the only player in Scottish football history to twice score a hat trick in a major cup final, achieving the feat in the 1971–72 Scottish Cup final and the 1974–75 League Cup final, both against Hibernian.

He is probably best remembered for the part he played in the semi final of the 1971–72 European Cup, where Celtic were paired with Internazionale, who they had beaten in Lisbon five years earlier. The two legs and extra-time failed to yield a single goal and so the tie proceeded to penalties.

Dixie, who had come on as a substitute, took the first for Celtic, firing it high over the bar. Inter then scored all five of their penalties and moved onto the final against AFC Ajax. That was the first time ever the penalty shootout was used to determine a winner in UEFA European club competitions, so Deans holds the distinction of being the first player to miss in a shootout.

Deans earned two caps for the Scotland national football team in 1974[3] but a year later was transferred to Luton Town in a £20,000 deal. He spent a month on loan to Carlisle United in 1977 and played briefly with League of Ireland side Shelbourne (5 league games, no goals) before moving to Australia to play for Adelaide City.[2] He is still a hero to the Adelaide fans for his goal-scoring abilities when he was the leading scorer in Australia in 1977/78. With the club he also won the Australian Cup of 1979, defeating St. George in the final 3–2. He returned to Scotland with Partick Thistle in 1980, where he retired.[2]

Deans is now a match-day host at Celtic Park, where he entertains corporate facility guests along with other Celtic legends. He is also involved with business interests in Glasgow, owning "Dixie's" pub in Rutherglen and was involved with former Celtic player Tommy Callaghan in the firm Esperanza Property Development, a company that buys, renovates and sells properties throughout Central Scotland.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986 (Hardback). Hutton Press. (ISBN 0-907033-47-4). 
  3. ^

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