Born: Denaby , December 31, 1930.|
Died: April 10 2008
Ray worked as a miner at Cadeby Colliery and played
in the Midland League for his local side Denaby United. Spotted by Rotherham
United playing against their Reserves, he duly signed for the 'Millers' in June
1955. At that time Rotherham had a very good Reserve side who regularly
challenged the mighty 'Posh' sides of those days for the old Midland League
title. It was not long before Ray made his Division Two debut for Rotherham
which was on September 10 . away to Swansea Town, alas no fairy tale start as
the 'Swans' won 4-1 at the 'Vetch Field'.
That season he was to play a further six games for the First Team. A 3-2 home
win over Blackburn Rovers was followed by a 3-0 victory at 'Boothferry Park'
over Hull City where the 'Tigers' allowed him to score his first Football League
goal. A goalless home draw with Plymouth Argyle followed before Ray scored his
second goal of the season in a 3-2 victory at 'Millmoor' over West Ham. His last
two appearances at First Team level that season, both ended in defeat, a 1-4
reverse at Port Vale and a 1-3 defeat at home to Bury.
The next season he began by scoring regularly for the high flying 'Millers'
Reserves and forced his way into the First Team against Fulham. The result: a
4-3 Rotherham victory and a third League goal for Ray. He then played his only
F.A.Cup tie for the 'Millers' a 1-4 away drubbing at Bristol City in the 1st
Round. Bristol were beaten by Aston Villa in the 5'". Round and went on to beat
Manchester United in the Final. A run of six more League games followed, they
were a 0-1 away defeat at Swansea again, a 1-0 home win over Stoke City,
followed by another single goal win away to Middlesbrough. A 1-1 draw against
Bury in which he scored what proved to be his last Football League goal was
followed by another defeat in Bristol, 2-4 this time v Rovers and then on March
16th. 1957 he played what turned out to be his final League appearance for
Rotherham in a 0-0 draw with Notts. County. Still prolific with the Reserves Ray
netted 37 goals in that Midland League campaign when they finished Runners up
for the second successive season.
In 1957 ex Rotherham defender Jack Selkirk was appointed Player-Manager of Kings
Lynn and he turned to his old Club for 'fire-power' up front in the shape of
Ray, to replace another South Yorkshire legend in Cecil McCormack. After some
initial problems with his transfer, Ray Dixon signed for Kings Lynn on Thursday,
September 5th. 1957 just in time to be qualified to play against Holbeach
United, making his debut in a 3-1 win. His first goals for Lynn came against
Gainsborough Trinity in a 4-0 win at 'The Walks' and so a Lynn scoring Legend
came into being.
Ray scored 40 goals for Lynn in what proved to be the final campaign of the old
Midland League. He seemed to want to prove a point in South Yorkshire as his
best returns that year were hat-tricks against his old Club, Denaby United and
against Doncaster Rovers and went one better with a four against Bradford City
in a 5-3 victory. He scored five in the 9-0 thrashing of North Walsham in the
Norfolk Senior Cup.
The following season he played in Lynn's first ever Southern League game against
Dartford. That season of 1958-59 was to prove his most prolific for the
'Linnets'. A total of 50 goals in just 60 appearances proved his qualities as a
marksman fit to be ranked in the top three centre forwards of post war Kings
Lynn football. His most outstanding feat that year was to score five goals in a
Southern League match against Cambridge United who were beaten by 7 clear goals.
No other Lynn player has equalled this achievement in the 46 years Lynn have
been in the Southern League. He also scored 4 times in a 6-0 win over Hastings
United that season. In one spell between the Merthyr Cup tie on November 15th.
and the home game with Trowbridge on January 24th. he scored in 12 successive
Almost as prolific in 1959-60, he netted 46 goals from 60 appearances. When the
Linnets went on the rampage to the tune of 14 goals to nil against Boulton &
Paul in the Norfolk Senior Cup, Ray helped himself to five. He also managed hat
tricks against Wisbech Town and Bedford Town. In 1960-61, his tally was 34 goals
from a total of 57 appearances. Two more hat-tricks graced his record, in a 6-1
win over Dartford and in a 5-3 win against Gravesend. The next year of 1961-62
was Ray's final campaign at 'The Walks'. He managed 14 goals from 29 outings
with the First Team plus another 13 with the Reserves in the Eastern Counties
With Lynn, Ray Dixon reached the F.A.Cup 2nd. Round on four occasions: against
Brentford (lost 1-3), against Reading (lost 2-4), against Bristol City (lost 0-2
after a 2-2 draw at Lynn), and, famously, against Coventry City (won 2-1) giving
him a 3"Â°. Round appearance against Everton (lost 0-4). In the Norfolk Senior
Cup he won a winners medal in 1958 and a runners up medal in 1960, both v
Norwich City Reserves.
It terms of statistics Ray missed only four out of a possible 235 games in his
first four seasons, being ever present in the 1959-60 season.
He scored 188 goals in total - his best season being 1959-60 when he scored 51
During his final season he also made 17 reserve team appearances scoring 13
goals. Overall League Playing Record:
1957-58 Midland League, Appearances: 53, Goals: 40
1958-59 Southern League, Appearances: 60, Goals: 50
1959-60 Southern League, Appearances: 60, Goals: 46
1960-61 Southern League, Appearances: 34, Goals: 34
1961-62 Southern League, Appearances: 29, Goals: 14
Total: 259 Total: 184
This total of 188 goals from 294 games played in all Competitions puts Ray Dixon
fifth in Lynn's All Time list of Top Scorers behind record holder, Malcolm
Lindsay on 320, George Martin on 259, Cliff Whitelum on 240, Jack Waterson on
213. Next are Keith Rudd on 186, H. Osborne with 157, with the evergreen Dick
Everitt on 154.
Ray left the Linnets at his request in April 1962 having taken a job in a motor
engineering firm near Doncaster, living in Mexborough, for whom he played
in the Yorkshire League.