Hartlepool United FA Cup hero back at The Vic ahead of Derby County clash

Victoria Park
Victoria Park

Former Hartlepool United star Kevin Dixon is heading back to The Vic - more than 30 years after he scored the winning goal in the shock FA Cup win over Derby County.

Pools host Championship side Derby on Saturday and to coincide with the third round tie, 1980s icon Dixon is heading back to the club and will be chatting to fans in the Centenary

Lounge prior to kick-off.

In all, he made 144 appearances for Pools and scored 35 goals against a backdrop of financial uncertainty at the club which loomed large over the players and fans.

"It was a turbulent period and it was tough times at the club," Dixon told the club's website.

"I remember when I first got to Pools there were a few little things said about the chance we wouldn't get paid at the end of the week which was a bit of a shock!

"I had signed from Carlisle, scored my first goal against Bury and then scored two against York – but then we went to Colchester and got beat 6-0!

"I always remember the goalkeeper Eddie Blackburn telling us to get our tin hats on because Colchester were a great side in those days – it was like Custer’s Last Stand!"

Dixon's most memorable goal though, was when he jinked away from the Derby County defence to ram home an unexpected winner when Pools ran out 2-1 victors in the FA Cup in November 1984 in front of more than 7,500 fans.

And ahead of Saturday's match, Dixon has been reminiscing about the game, a match he almost didn't feature in.

"I remember in the week leading up to the game my grandma had died," said Dixon.

"I had lived with my grandma from being little so it was a really hard time for me and I was in two minds about even playing in the game, to be honest.

"But I did play and the goal - well, I remember it coming to me at the far post and I went to hit it but then something told me to drag it back inside so I did, and the keeper and Floyd Street slid straight past me and I just rolled it in to the net.

"Someone said afterwards that it was in the Peter Beardsley mould! But I was the one who did it!

"I remember John Robertson said to me afterwards that I had sent him three ways on the halfway line at one point and to hear that from a Scottish international was brilliant.

"There was no way we were expected to win the game; they had the likes of Street, Kenny Burns, Eric Steele and Robertson – to take a team like that out in the FA Cup was one of the greatest moments of my career and I am proud to have been part of it."

Fans are invited to go along and meet Kevin Dixon in the club’s Centenary Lounge from 1pm before the game on Saturday.

Entry is free and there will also be a special Pools quiz and a chance to win tickets for next weekend’s game against Wycombe Wanderers.