The best I’ve ever seen #2: Will Dixon

We continue our new feature in which we’ll review some of our favourite Swindon Town players, matches, performances, kits etc; Vic Morgan tells us who his favourite player is…

If you’ve been watching your football team since the 1960s, it can be very difficult to say who your favourite player is. Yes there are some obvious candidates, the “Don” Rogers, John Trollope, Steve White, Glenn Hoddle, Colin Calderwood etc etc. However when push comes to shove and when people ask me who my favourite Town player is, the answer may be a little surprising.

He was a player who epitomised effort, spirit and downright determination and he had a killer moustache. A former Arsenal trainee at the time of Pat Rice and Charlie George, right-back Will Dixon arrived at the County Ground towards the end of 1973 from Colchester United.

It wasn’t a great time in the Town’s history. In fact at times it was downright miserable. We were well post-1969 and League Cup success which brought Anglo Italian trophies in its wake. We were entering a rebuilding phase. Danny Williams was to return for a second spell as manager, and we would eventually end up with one of the most exciting sides I’ve ever seen in Swindon’s Red and White.

Will made his debut for the Town on the first New Years Day bank holiday fixture; after all that bank holiday had only just been introduced – younger readers may find that surprising. It was a home game against Preston North End. Swindon were winning 2-1 which was a rarity in a miserable season. When Preston were awarded a penalty, Jimmy Allen saved the spot kick and the ball went to the other end where Ray Treacy stabbed home the third. Fantastic game, which helped with the hangover.

What I loved about Will’s play was his never say die spirit. He was part of a team that excited in Division Three with the likes of Trevor Anderson, Peter Eastoe, Dave Syrett, Dave Moss etc. I loved watching that team and to me they hit their peak when they demolished Colchester 4-1 in one particular home game in November 1974. Goals took a while to come for Dixon, his first came in August 1975 – a winner at Aldershot. Then he notched up a further seven that season in a run of 16 League games following a move into a more attacking role.

The one thing that escaped that side was promotion back into the Second Division, something that wouldn’t happen again till the mid eighties. By then Will was long gone. Released in 1977, the right back moved onto Aldershot.

Swindon fans were so disgusted by that decision that they made a collection to buy him a crystal glass set as a memento of his time. The memory of course plays tricks with your mind, but I will always say Will is my favourite Town player. Spirited, unfussy, and determined, everything I love in a player.

Oh and he shares his name with a great bluesman as well, can’t be bad.

Yes THE GREAT WILL DIXON.

Season LEAGUE FA CUP LEAGUE CUP OTHER TOTAL
Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
’76/’77 38 (+1) 2 7 1 2 47 (+1) 3
’75/’76 41 (+3) 6 4 (+1) 2 3 48 (+4) 8
’74/’75 38 (+2) 2 5 1 44 (+2) 2
’73/’74 17 2 19
TOTAL 134 (+6) 10 18 (+1) 3 6 158 (+7) 13

Playing statistics from swindon-town-fc.co.uk

Want to nominate an entry into our ‘Best I’ve Ever Seen’ feature? – please email thewashbag[at]gmail[dot]com with your nomination and we’ll be in touch

2 comments

  • I was at the home game versus Preston in the then North Stand. There were two or three Preston supporters in the row in front of mine. When the penalty was saved and the Town immediately scored, we all went nuts of course, but the Preston supporters who had been a little loud and obnoxious throughout had faces in hands and were going through the stages of grief. Denial disappeared quickly with no offside flag, but anger didn’t really transition to acceptance. However, there was plenty of time for that on the long journey home.

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  • Pingback: The best I’ve ever seen #3: Dave Mitchell’s header vs Watford 4 January 1992 | The Washbag

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