18/02/2024 14comments  |  Jump to last

Graeme Sharp, Peter Reid, Mike Lyons, Kevin Ratcliffe are just some of the illustrious Everton names engraved on the Dixie Dean Memorial Trophy – a coveted piece of silverware awarded to ‘players in the great tradition’. Now, Séamus Coleman has been added to the pantheon of holders, when presented with the trophy at a packed Everton FC Heritage Society event, held at Goodison Park on 16 February.

Established in 1980 by the Liverpool Echo in the wake of the death of the legendary Everton centre-forward, the Dixie Dean Memorial Trophy was intended to recognise footballers and managers with Merseyside links who made a meaningful contribution to the sport. It was won by a mixture of Everton FC, Liverpool FC (e.g. Ian Callaghan and Ian Rush) and Tranmere Rovers (e.g. Johnny King) luminaries until the instigation of the Bill Shankly Memorial Award in 1996, saw the Dean trophy become solely Toffees-focused. 

In recent years, it has been overseen by the Heritage Society, under the guidance of Ken Rogers, with the support of the Dean family. Graeme Sharp was awarded it for a second time in 2018, followed by John Hust in 2019. The selection of our talismanic and long-serving skipper from Killybegs as the next recipient has proved universally popular. 

It was fitting that Dave Watson, another great Everton captain, and past holder of the Dixie Dean Trophy, was there to make the presentation on behalf of the Heritage Society. Recognising the importance of the award, ‘Waggy’ had made the 350-mile round-trip from Newcastle to do the honours. 

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Séamus, like Dixie Dean, had represented both Sligo Rovers and Everton, so it was fitting that a warm message of congratulation sent by the Connacht club was read out. Having watched a montage of career highlights (produced by Mike and Lewis Royden), the Irishman told Ken Rogers, MC for the night, about his undying commitment to the Toffees. The audience were also treated to having Dave Watson, Graham Stuart, Ian Snodin and Derek Temple on stage, reflecting on Séamus’s immense contribution to the Club, as well as chatting about their own playing careers. There was also a video tribute to the recently departed John Hurst, which was appreciated by all, including John’s wife and daughters.

A full report on this wonderful evening of Evertonia, accompanied by many images, can be found on the Everton FC Heritage Society’s website.


Reader Comments (14)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 19/02/2024 at 14:58:31
Well deserved award for a leader and a True Blue.
Mike Doyle
2 Posted 19/02/2024 at 15:10:40
Nice to see Dave Watson back to make the award — like Seamus, another 100% player.
Bill Fairfield
3 Posted 19/02/2024 at 16:09:40
Seamus Coleman’s name is where it deserves. Amongst the greats.
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 19/02/2024 at 17:14:24
I didn’t know that Liverpool players could win this award, when and why were they invited to be included?

Not against this, I thought Ian Callaghan was a very good player and person, for instance but I thought with it being the Everton Heritage Award it was just for people connected to Everton.

Mike Hayes
5 Posted 19/02/2024 at 17:23:52
Great go to Seamus win this award well deserved - always stops to chat to fans outside Goodison and has photos taken and sign autographs. Great player great man another added to the Everton legend status - WELL DONE!!
Jeff Spiers
6 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:33:16
Dave. I wonder if there is a Liverpool fc heritage award that honours our players? Can't get my head around it
John Hughes
7 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:54:05
Dave and Jeff.

As explained in Rob's report, the original concept was to recognise people within football with Merseyside connections; when the Bill Shankly Memorial Award was introduced in 1996 it became totally Toffees focused.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:49:52
John (7), Thanks for the explanation John.

Oh, here's another question John, what was Graeme Sharp given the award for in 2018 after he had already received it before in 2001 what had he done between those years?

Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:39:41
Dave, that struck me as odd too when I read it. Yea, great for winning it but why on earth would you be given it again?

Assuming 2001 was in recognition of his contribution as a player, I can only think that the 2018 one was related to him being fan liaison officer, as it was well before he was appointed to the Board that ultimately betrayed the fans and the club it vowed to serve.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:07:30
Michael(9), was it possible that a certain party had an influence in who was getting the award sometimes?
John Hughes
11 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:32:50
Dave (10),

I guess Sharp was given the award in 2018 in recognition of his ambassadorial duties as well as his involvement with EitC, pretty much in line with Michael's suggestion.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 22/02/2024 at 11:08:18
John (11), Thanks once again for taking the trouble to reply to my post.

Not having a go at you, John, honestly, I just think surely some Everton player, or anyone on the playing or managing side, must have done something more worthy than whatever Sharp did in 2018?

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 22/02/2024 at 11:44:04
Deserving. Very well respected around the club. Not just as a player, but as a person.

Watch the clip on Tunnel Access after that Palace match. He stops for the cameras with his two daughters. Asks them their names and then who they support? "Everton" they respond, before going out onto the pitch with their dad.

Sort of reminded me of that opening scene on The Golden Vision when Alex Young's daughter is asked who her dad plays for.

Seamus is an example of never giving in and was a late starter that, and let's be honest, raised a few eyebrows to start with. But he certainly managed to prove any doubters wrong.

It just shows, sometimes be patient with players as they find their feet. One Saturday doesn't make several seasons.

Sean Kelly
17 Posted 24/02/2024 at 10:20:13
Well deserved by Seamus. A true gent in a game run by sharks and cannibals.

I don't agree with the "jobs for the boys" mentality but Seamus is a warrior and I hope a proper meaningful place can be found for him to be involved with the playing staff, just like it was for Duncan.

Seamus would have a real influence with younger players also as his story is inspirational given his experience.

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