Dixie Dean Memorial Trophy – with award winner Séamus Coleman

Our full report of the event, together with a short video, filmed and edited by Lewis Royden:

Séamus’s Big Night

Rob Sawyer

It was a night of celebration, cheers and even a few tears shed as Everton FC Heritage Society’s Séamus Coleman tribute evening was held at the People’s Lounge, Goodison Park on 16 February 2024. The Toffees’ talismanic, long-serving skipper was the 32nd recipient of the illustrious Dixie Dean Memorial Award.

Compere Ken Rogers (Chairman of Everton FC Heritage Society)

At 7:30pm, the familiar strains of the theme from Z-Cars filled the room and compere Ken Rogers introduced our award winner and the evening’s special guests to a deafening reception from the 150-plus attendees.

Dixie Dean Memorial Award

The Dixie Dean Memorial Award – with a photo of a selection panel from the 1980s – Ian Hargraves and Ken Rogers of the Liverpool Echo, flanked by the 1960s captains of Everton and Liverpool, Brian Labone and Ron Yeats. Ken Rogers is now into his fifth decade on the selection process. An amazing achievement in itself!
Past winners Gordon West, Graeme Sharp, John Hurst
Dave Prentice, and Melanie Prentice with Séamus

Dave Prentice, married to the legendary striker’s granddaughter Melanie (who was present, along with her mother, Barbara Dean), gave context to the award, which has been presented since 1980 to Merseyside ‘sportsmen in the great tradition’. There could be no more deserving person to have his name engraved on the trophy than the inspirational right-back from Killybegs, who has made Merseyside his home for the past fifteen years.

Dave Watson

It was fitting that another great Everton captain, and past holder of the Dixie Dean award, was there to make the presentation on behalf of the Hertiage Society. Recognising the importance of the award, Dave Watson had volunteered to make the 350-mile round-trip from Newcastle to do the honours. Before hitting the road for the journey home, he shared hilarious anecdotes from his playing career with the Blues spanning fourteen years, which included a League Championship in 1987, and lifting the FA Cup in 1995.

Dave Watson with compere Ken Rogers (photo: Everton FC Fan Advisory Board).

Séamus Coleman – Our Guest of Honour

The evening’s guest of honour, Séamus Coleman, joined the sell-out crowd in watching a film put together by the Society (take a bow, Mike and Lewis Royden) covering his sporting life – from days as a Gaelic footballer to representing Sligo Rovers, where Dixie Dean also had a spell in 1939 (the Irish club sent a message of congratulations to be read out on the night), to proudly pulling on the blue shirt of Everton and green shirt of Ireland.

Tribute to Séamus Coleman film compiled and edited by Lewis and Mike Royden
(Apologies but we cannot post it for public viewing online due to copyright reasons)
Séamus sat at the top table watching the tribute film, flanked by Darren Griffiths, Ian Snodin, Graham Stuart and Richard Kenyon (photo: Lewis Royden)
Our famous links with Sligo. The club sent a message of congratulations which was read out.

The Presentation

Former captain Dave Watson presents the award to current captain Séamus Coleman (photo: @_laurag23 of The Blue Room)
Ken in conversation with Séamus about the award, his time at Everton, and his enduring relationship with the fans

When interviewed afterwards, Séamus was typically modest, but his enduring passion for the club shone through brightly.

Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart

Darren Griffiths then joined Club ambassadors Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart on stage – hailing the current captain’s immense contribution to Everton, as well as reflecting on their own careers and the Toffee’s current fortunes on the pitch.


The Work of Everton FC Heritage Society

After a break, Heritage Society member and former chairperson Bren Connolly gave a whistlestop tour of the group’s many activities, aimed at, preserving and celebrating this grand old club’s heritage. A collector of football memorabilia, Bren brought the house down with the tale of how he ‘rescued’ and returned some very important documents that had been ‘liberated’ from the car of one of the Toffee’s mid-1990s stars.

The slide-reel shown on the work of Everton FC Heritage Society (Mike Royden)

This was followed by a screening of the Memories of Goodison Park, a Heritage Society documentary film which culminated with a montage of great footballing moments at the stadium, beautifully backed by Dusty Springfield’s superb track ‘I’m Going Back’

Click to play

(NB. there were some PA system issues encountered during the event which were beyond our control, which affected the smooth running of the video, so we recommend visiting our YouTube channel to watch this film again – and other documentaries we have produced over the past year – or click above to run it within the web page).


John Hurst

John Hurst, one of the club’s most cultured centre-backs (and the previous Dixie Dean Memorial Award recipient) passed away recently, so it was fitting that his wife and daughters were present as special guests. They joined other audience members in watching a moving video presentation, which captured the essence of this fine footballer and lovely man who epitomised all that is great about Everton. Rob Sawyer then shared tributes from Joe Royle and Colin Harvey to their friend and former teammate.

Compiled and edited by Lewis Royden and Mike Royden
(with thanks to the Hurst family, Crawford Miles and Rob Sawyer)

The Everton FC Heritage Society tribute to John Hurst by Rob Sawyer can be read here

Derek Temple

The memorable evening was concluded with a conversation between Rob Sawyer and Derek Temple, the latter in fine form at 85 years-young. The former Blues forward added his own heartfelt tribute to John Hurst before regaling the audience with tales of a career at Everton which, amazingly, started 70 years ago. Derek has always been a great friend to the Heritage Society and fine ambassador for the Club over many decades – it was little surprise that the crowd showed their love for him with a tremendous ovation.

Maureen Temple far left, with Rose Hurst and her daughters Alexandra and Samantha with the Dean/Prentice family seated behind
(photo: Everton FC Fan Advisory Board).
The slide-reel featuring Derek Temple, shown during his interview on stage with Rob Sawyer
(Mike Royden, with thanks to Rob Sawyer and Crawford Miles)

And so ended a memorable evening which highlighted, again, just how special Everton FC, its players and its supporters are. The Heritage Society is grateful to the assistance from the Club in helping to bring the event to fruition – notably Darren Griffiths and Séamus Coleman, plus Richard Kenyon, Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart.

Special thanks to Dave Watson, for giving his time, his superb captain’s performance, and for making such a long round trip from Newcastle to be with us.

As ever, we are grateful yet again to Derek Temple, a very good friend and supporter of the Society – who at 85 is still fighting fit, giving us a 40 minute performance on stage!

On the Society’s side, it was a team effort, but special recognition is due to Ken Rogers, the principal organiser as well as being master of ceremonies, Mike and Lewis Royden (who produced the audio-visual content, supported by Crawford Miles and Rob Sawyer), Brendan Connolly, and Richie Gillham.

Many thanks to all who came along and supported the event!

Written by Rob Sawyer

Layout, illustrations and slide reels by Mike Royden

Photography and filming – Lewis Royden (except where indicated)


Before the start of the event

Just before the start of the proceedings, our guests collected together briefly in the Sky TV box, located ‘backstage’. This gave us time to take a few photographs, film a swift interview, and for a few quick signatures on various items of memorabilia.

Chairman of EFCHS Ken Rogers and Vice-chairman Mike Royden, chatting to Dave Watson in the Sky Box, with that superb view in the background. The box was our venue for monthly society meetings before our relocation to the Everton FC board room in the Royal Liver Building. (photo: Lewis Royden)

Séamus chatting to Maureen Temple while Derek looks on (photo: Rob Sawyer)
Séamus checking out the names of some of the past winners (photo: Rob Sawyer)
(photo: Rob Sawyer)

Séamus with our media guys and filmmakers Lewis and Mike Royden (photo: Rob Sawyer)
Séamus signing a shirt for the North American Toffees, some of whom were in the audience having travelled over to take in a couple of special Everton themed evenings, a tour of Goodison, and the Crystal Palace home game. (photo: Rob Sawyer)


Seamus arrives (photo: BB_UTFT @bb_proud)
Derek Temple, the childhood hero of Paul McParlan (member of EFCHS and author of The Forgotten Champions 1986/87: Everton’s Last Title)
Our friends from The Everton FC Fan Advisory Board, including Julie Clarke, Richard Masters’ favourite Evertonian
Tanya with Dave Watson (photo: Tanya @xTanyax1878)
Paul Hession of Rainbow Toffees meets his hero
One of the North American Toffees with Dave Watson……
(photo: North American Toffees @NAToffees)
…..and with Derek Temple
(photo: North American Toffees @NAToffees)
Author, photographer and presenter Rob Sawyer with wife Paula (photo: Rob Sawyer)
Dave Watson with Liam, Mike and Lewis Royden (photo: Rob Sawyer)
Mike Royden with his old school pal and life-long friend John Robinson. John’s brother was Neil Robinson, Everton’s full back during the 1970s. John was also a youth player at Everton at the same time, playing alongside Dave Jones and Ken McNaught. The family lived on Spellow Lane while John’s father ran the Winslow pub. (Neil still holds the record as the Everton player born nearest to Goodison – at around 100 yards away!) John has been unwell recently, so it was great to have him along as our guest for the evening. (photo: Rob Sawyer)
[Neil sadly passed away in November 2022 and his obituary can be found here].
EFCHS member Jamie Yates with daughter Enid
Usually found in St Luke’s on matchdays – EFCHS members Richie Gillham (EFCHS secretary) and Gaz Jones man the merchanise stall (photo: Rob Sawyer)


The Original Pre-publicity for the Dixie Dean Memorial Award Event:

Our Latest Everton FC Heritage Society Event

Join us for a special event, hosted in the intimate People’s Lounge, Stanley Park Stand, at Goodison Park, where we will be presenting the Memorial Trophy instituted in honour of the legendary Dixie Dean. This year, we are delighted to have Seamus Coleman, captain of Everton Football Club and esteemed award winner, as our guest of honour.

Date: Friday 16 February 2024

Time: 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start

Location: People’s Lounge, Stanley Park Stand, Goodison Park, L4 4EL

Tickets, priced at only £20 each

Available only online at Eventbrite – Click here for direct link

This event is now sold out – many thanks for your support!


What a remarkable signing he has been for Everton – and now fans have the chance to personally let him know just how much they appreciate and respect his 15 years of royal blue dedication.

The famed chant that regularly rings out around Goodison will echo around the Park End ‘People’s Lounge’ on Friday, 16 February (7pm for 7.30) when he steps forward as the latest winner of the prestigious Dixie Dean Memorial Trophy, awarded since 1981 to individuals who, like the immortal Dean, show qualities in the ‘Great Tradition’.

Seamus follows in the footsteps of many legendary winners, men like Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey, Joe Royle, Graeme Sharp and Duncan Ferguson.

The event is organised by the official Everton FC Heritage Society and you could be there with other star guests on a special Evertonian evening. Seamus was an astute capture from Sligo Rovers in January 2009. Fittingly, Dean himself once went in the opposite direction, joining the Irish club late in his career.

There will be on stage interviews, the presentation of the award, plus films.

Tickets, priced at only £20 each, will go very quickly. There will be free parking at the Park End.

Act swiftly to be part of a very special and intimate Evertonian evening!

John Hurst

The evening will also include a special tribute to John Hurst, a member of Everton FC’s famous 1970 Championship side. John was the last winner of the Dean Award, but sadly passed away recently after a short illness.

By Mike Royden

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