In the Shadow of Benbulben



In January 1939, just months after hanging up his boots and a few weeks into his new career as a talent scout, William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean, the former Everton and England legend, received a surprise request for assistance from the far west of Ireland. Could he find a goalscorer for Sligo Rovers – the beating heart of a small, provincial town – to drive their dreams of a lucrative cup run and help protect the club’s very existence? Dean set about finding the right man, but unable to locate candidates willing to make the move across the Irish Sea, he had an idea. What if he were to answer Sligo’s call? And so began the unlikely story of how one of the greatest centre-forwards ever to grace the game added an unexpected and ultimately uplifting chapter to his storied football career.

In the Shadow of Benbulben is a romantic tale of divine intervention, uncanny timing and drama on and off the pitch. It’s the tale of ‘Dixie’ Dean’s four months with the Bit O’Red that was to leave an indelible mark on the player, the club and the town.

2 in stock


ISBN: 9781801501026