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GCR Books

Lee Dixon joins Arsenal, 29 January

On January 29. 1988 George Graham bought right-back Lee Dixon from Stoke City for £350,000.

At the time he was just another player, but over time he became part of the legendary back five.

Dixon was born 17 March 1964 and started life in football in 1980 with Burnley, before joining Chester City, then Bury and then Stoke City – none of whom were first division clubs.

Nevertheless George Graham signed him as a potential first team player.  This was the era of having two left backs on the pitch – Samson and Winterburn,  and Dixon proved his worth by playing in the right back position instead of Winterburn six times during the remainder of the season.

Winterburn then moved to left back as Sansom prepared to leave, and Dixon took on the  right back position as of his right.  The famous five took shape with Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Steve Bould (who replaced David O’Leary) completing the group.  (O’Leary also acted as a back up for Dixon at right back).

Thus Dixon was with Arsenal in 1989 at Anfield, received the ball in his own half and hoofed it up to Alan Smith.  With Smith taking the defence with him, Micky Thomas ran into the middle and …. well you know the rest.

With the addition of David Seaman the defence became complete and Dixon played in the team that came within one defeat of being the Invincibles in 1990/91.

Lee Dixon also the Cup Winners Cup in the victory over Parma, and played in the FA Cup final in the Cup Double year.

The books…

The sites…

The main series

Dixon’s career at Arsenal was surprisingly extended by the arrival of Arsène Wenger who enabled the back five to extend their careers through his famous lifestyle changes.  Arsenal won the Double in 1998 and Dixon received a testimonial in 1999.

By the time of the 2001 FA Cup final Dixon was 37, an age at which no Wenger player would play these days.  He played for one more season, and so won a second Double, thus allowing him to have won the League in the 1908s, the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century.

Both Lee Dixon and Tony Adams left Arsenal at the same time in 2002, having played 458 times in the League, scoring 25 goals.

In retirement, Lee Dixon has run several businesses, and appeared on Match of the Day, and Football Focus.  In July 2012 he moved to ITV.  In 2012 as a cyclist he raised almost £1m for charity.

During his career he also played 22 times for England.

2 comments to Lee Dixon joins Arsenal, 29 January

  • nicky

    In his early days at Arsenal, Dixon became noted for his prodigious throw-ins
    which developed into real weaponry. Then, suddenly, they dried up for no apparent reason and he never used his talent again.

  • Sod

    Martin Keown had left Arsenal in 1986 and thus did not complete the group until he rejoined in early 1993.
    Also, it’s Sansom, not Samson.

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