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1931 - 1960



Predictably, Dixie Dean was a riot in the Second Division and he plundered 39 league goals in 37 appearances as Everton stormed to promotion at the first time of asking.

The rollercoaster period continued in the very next season of 1931-32 when Everton regained the First Division title, with Dean, by now a footballing superstar, scoring another 45 league goals to crown a glorious return to the top flight.

The Championship was followed with the memorable 1933 FA Cup triumph - the club's first at Wembley with a 3-0 thumping of Manchester City.

Appropriately, at Wembley, Dean became Everton's first ever Number 9.

Shirt numbers were introduced for the first time that afternoon with Everton wearing 1-11 and Manchester City 12-22.

A period of mid-table mediocrity followed, and on December 11th 1937, Dean played his last match for the club, before moving on to Notts County - leaving behind a goalscoring record of 383 in 433 matches. A statue of the greatest goalscorer the game has ever seen now stands proudly in the corner of the current Goodison Park complex.

The 1938/9 Championship Winners

His departure in 1937 was much lamented but fortunately for the Evertonians, a suitable successor lay in waiting.

Tommy Lawton arrived from Burnley in January 1937, and such was his enormous potential that he was always looked upon as the heir to Dean's throne.

1938-39 was his finest season as an Everton player - scoring 34 goals in 38 matches as Everton raced to another League Championship success.

Great things were predicted for this fabulous Everton side, which included the legendary Ted Sagar in goal, TG Jones, Joe Mercer and Lawton - but once again the intervention of war prevented full potential being reached.

Lawton scored in each of the first three matches of the 1939-40 season, but the First Division was scrapped when World War II started.

Lawton never played another league match for Everton.

The War years had robbed The Toffees of the services of one of the finest centre-forwards ever and his record of 70 goals in 95 games would have been much, much more under different circumstances.

Lawton was at Chelsea when First Division football resumed after the War, and Everton entered another period of underachievement.

The relegation to the Second Division at the end of the 1950-51 campaign had long been expected, and a last day 6-0 drubbing at Sheffield Wednesday just about summed it all up.

This time there was no instant return and the Evertonians had to endure three seasons away from the top flight before John-Willie Parker and Dave Hickson led the promotion charge of 1953-54, with 56 league goals between them.

In truth, the 1950s was a barren and largely forgettable decade for the club, but the appointment of former player Harry Catterick as manager in April 1961 was a prelude to Everton's reinstatement at the top of English football.
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