Former Waterford United player Timmy Dixon

Former Waterford United player Timmy Dixon

He did not stay to long but Timmy Dixon certainly made an impression when he played for Waterford United back in season 1984-’85. Young Timothy arrived in Waterford at the age of 19 and following his one-season stint with the Blues he went back home to England with a League Cup medal in his back pocket.

Timmy was born in Dover in 1965 and he was at Southampton under Lawrie McMenemy when Alfie Hale, the Blues manager at the time, decided to take a chance on the attacking midfield player. Timmy takes up the story: “Just after Southampton released me Chris Nicol took over. He was more in tune with the youngsters at the club, more so than Lawrie. Denis Wise was there at the time and look what happened to him. It could be that, had I stayed, my career might have taken a completely different turn. I trained with Crystal Palace when Steve Coppell was the manager but I never actually played for the club. I did sign for them and we were due to play Southampton of all teams at The Dell. Ian Wright was in that Crystal Palace team but on the day of the match it snowed very hard and the game was called off. After that I never got a chance to prove a point at Crystal Palace.

“Waterford United contacted me and said they wanted to meet me in London. I played just over a season for the club and we beat Finn Harps 2-1 to win the League Cup final in Kilcohan Park. I loved it there but at the end of the season the club wanted to cut the wage bill [somethings never change] so I had to move on. Waterford was fantastic for me, I loved it there and I had a great time. After I left, Waterford played in the FAI Cup final and then played Bordeaux in the European Cup Winners Cup, who had a team including several French internationals. So I missed out again. That would have been the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Tim ruefully.

Dover legend

After leaving Waterford, Timmy travelled to Finland and signed professional terms with a club called Tsepi 78, who are based in the town of Seinajoki. It proved to be interesting to say the very least because he eventually signed for Dover Athletic in a sort of roundabout manner which involved another former Waterford player, Jim McMenamin, who got involved a tug-of-war situation with Dixon.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of that scenario, Timmy went on to play for ten seasons with Dover Athletic and helped them gain promotion to the Conference in the early ’90s. The club were eventually relegated once again but to this day their home ground, ‘The Crabble’, can house some of the biggest crowds in English non-league football.

In 1996, Timmy Dixon broke his leg twice, as well as his ankle and his wrist and was no longer able to play at that level, so he moved on to play for Folkestone in the Kent League. Between 1998 and 2000 he lined out for Ramsgate, also in the Kent League. They won the league and the Kent Senior Trophy in 1999. He then moved on to a smaller club called Snowdown.

Up until recently he played Sunday morning football for Kingfisher Gate and he is busy studying to get his full FA coaching badge. However it was his ten-year stint with Dover Athletic that he is best remembered for in England and some time ago he was entered in their ‘Hall of Legends’ roll of honour. The club are now clear leaders of the Ryman Premier League and are making a bold push for Conference League football once again under the guidance of manager Andy Hessenthaler. Dover Athletic also made it to the 3rd round of the FA Cup where they played AFC Wimbledon (the real Dons) last Saturday.

Settled and happy

Timmy Dixon has from time to time worked on ‘Whites Live Radio’, a station that broadcast Dover Athletic games to the local hospital. Back in 1986 he had a stroke of good luck when, along with Angela, his partner at the time, they scooped a tidy sum of money on the English National Lottery. “I got home on Saturday and Angela was trembling. She was pointing at a slip of paper on the table. She couldn’t say a word,” Timmy recalls. Suffice to say it was an amount that we would all be happy with and enough to give life a rosy hue well into the future.

Timmy still lives in Dover, near ‘The Crabble’, with his wife, Teresa (they were married in 2001) and three children, Brooke, 14 and Chloe 11 (his children with his former partner Angela) and six-year-old Daniel, his son with Teresa. He works for a freight forwarding company at Dover Port.

He has won many awards in football but his League Cup medal with Waterford caps the lot. In a ‘Questions and Answers’ page in a Waterford United match programme of 1985 (Sunday, April 14th v Shelbourne) Timmy was asked what his future ambition was in football. His answer? “To be successful and to help Waterford United win more silver”. Alas, on account of the Blues’ perennial financial problems, he never got that chance.