Dixie Deans

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John Deans
Personal information
Full name John Kelly Deans[1]
Date of birth (1946-07-30) 30 July 1946 (age 70)
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.

John Kelly "Dixie" Deans (born 30 July 1946)[2] was a Scottish footballer. He played as a centre forward for Celtic in the 1970s, under the management of Jock Stein, and was a prolific goal-scorer. Deans played in two international matches for Scotland, both in 1974. He was nicknamed "Dixie" in honour of the great Everton and England centre-forward Dixie Dean.


Deans joined Motherwell from Neilston Juniors in 1965 and spent six seasons with the Fir Park side.[3] 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 six-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 Thistle'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 also remembered for the part he played in the semi final of the 1971–72 European Cup, where Celtic were paired with Internazionale, whom 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 on to 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, both in 1974.[4] He was left out of the Scotland squad for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany. He had made the initial 40 man squad, but missed the final cut of 22, as Donald Ford and Denis Law were selected instead. Deans was eventually capped in October 1974, in a 3–0 win against East Germany, and a month later won a second cap in a 2–1 defeat against Spain.[4]

In 1976, Deans 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.[3] 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.[3]


In his autobiography There's Only One Dixie Deans, he claimed that whilst living in Australia, he met Bob Marley, who asked him, "Are you the Dixie Deans who used to play for Celtic?", and mentioned that he envied Deans for having played at Celtic Park.[5] 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. ^ "Dixie Deans". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Dixie Deans". Neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  3. ^ a b c Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986 (Hardback). Hutton Press. (ISBN 0-907033-47-4). 
  4. ^ a b "Dixie Deans - Scotland Football Record from 30 Oct 1974 to 20 Nov 1974 clubs - Celtic". Londonhearts.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  5. ^ "'So Bob Marley asked me... Are you the Dixie Deans who used to play for Celtic?' WHEN A PARKHEAD LEGEND MET A REGGAE SUPERSTAR". Evening Times. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 

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