DOB: 20 May 1936
From: Melbourne High School
Number: 9 (1954-1968)
Premiership Player - 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964
Grand Final player - 1954, 1958
All Australian - 1961
Life Member - 1963
Team of the Century - Winger
MFC Hall of Fame - 2001
150 Heroes selection
One of the finest wingers of the post World War II era, Dixon originally wanted to play for St Kilda. Zoned to Melbourne, he lived with his grandmother to qualify for the Saints. They turned him down, and he returned to the Demons in 1954. He quickly worked his way through the ranks to the senior side and played in a grand final in his first year.
Dixon missed the 1955 Grand Final victory after being dropped for playing in a university match just before the finals, but when he broke back into the side the next year he joined Frank Adams and Laurie Mithen in the best centreline in the competition. While some criticised his kicking, he more than made up for it with his relentless and ferocious attack on the ball.
After playing in the second and third flags of the Demons mid 50's three-peat - best on ground in the '57 Prelim, and one of the best in the Grand Final, Dixon blamed himself for the 1958 loss and contemplated going to the country.
In the off-season before 1961 commenced he ran as a professional sprinter, winning a professional meeting. That year he picked up the Tassie Medal as best and fairest in the National Football League State Carnival. He was promoted to vice-captain in 1963 to replace Laurie Mithen who had joined Port Melbourne as a captain/coach.
After missing five games through injury after damaging his hamstring in 1965, there was speculation about Dixon retiring at the end of 1965, but he chose to play on. He prepared for the new season by entering competitive running races for the first time since 1960. He suffered a set-back in the 1966 pre-season when he reinjured the leg during a match race pitting Melbourne and Geelong players against each other. That year he also addressed the club's February annual meeting to deny he'd been disloyal to Norm Smith during Smith's temporary sacking in 1965. He described being 'disturbed' at the suggestion a senior player had been accused of "dobbing" during the year.
Despite the injury he played the first seven games of the season before injury struck again and a knee complaint caused him to miss five weeks. He returned for the round 13 win over Hawthorn, and injured the knee again. In total he played just 11 matches for the year during a season where he'd pulled to within striking distance of the club games record despite suggestions he was going to retire to concentrate on his political career.
In 1964, while still playing, Dixon was elected to the Victorian parliament as the Liberal member for St. Kilda. He had earlier sought pre-selection for an upper house seat, but lost to the former Melbourne for St. Kilda, who he then replaced in the lower house. Dixon retained the seat until 1982, most memorably in 1979 when his narrow victory allowed the Liberal party to form a majority government. On the day of the Round 3, 1967 match against St Kilda, Dixon was put in the unique position of having to fight a football match against and a State Election for St Kilda on the same day.
He played in five Melbourne premiership sides and had the better of most rival wingers, but by 1967, having hit 31, Dixon was beginning to slow down and a suggestion by Norm Smith that he retire threatened to reopen the wounds of Smith's brief departure from the club two years before when many supporters of the coach thought Dixon had been reporting back to the committee on what he had been telling them. Dixon declined the offer to give the game away and was picked the next week with all involved denying that there was any sort of falling out.
He ended the 1967 season under an injury cloud again, and was forced to undergo a knee cartilage operation or risk not being able to play again. The operation was a success and in Round 13, 1968 he became the first Demon to play 250 games. He retired at the end of that year and joined the committee, later saying he would have played on if he hadn't had to make a trip to South-East Asia during the year. He was later named on the Team of the Century wing opposite Robbie Flower.
Dixon, who played three games with VFA club Prahran in 1970 before injury forced him into retirement again, was a member of the MFC committee until the end of that year when he resigned to take up a position with North Melbourne. He coached the Kangaroos in 1971 and 1972 before being offered a position in Rupert Hamer's state government cabinet as long as he gave up coaching. He'd floated a playing comeback in the second last game of 1971 but the idea was vetoed by the North board.
After losing his parliamentary seat at the 1982 State Election, Dixon was appointed Sydney general manager in October 1982 and served in the role until sacked in May 1983. In 1984 he unsuccessfully contested the Federal division of McEwen.
Dixon was a prominent figure in the 1996 anti-merger campaign. As the most fervently anti-merger of all ex-players Dixon introduced Joseph Gutnick to the club and gave a fiery speech at the Dallas Brookes Hall vote which savagely attacked his old teammate Ian Ridley. Dixon was originally slated to be a Vice-President of the club under Gutnick but didn't win a spot on the committee, falling out with the new President soon after the vote.
He served as president of the Past-Players association in 2001 and was later president of AFL South Africa.
Age - 01/12/1960
Australian Jewish News - 13/03/1964
Age - 31/03/1965
Age - 24/11/1965
Age - 18/02/1966
Age - 22/02/1966
Age - 12/05/1967
Age - 08/11/1967
Age - 01/01/1970
Inside Football - 21/08/1971