‘Guinea’ Dixon was a small follower who contributed to six Norwood premierships and was rated by his captain ‘Topsy’ Waldron as one of the giants of his time and place.
‘Guinea’ moved to Norwood from South Adelaide in 1881 and quickly helped his new club build on its early success. ‘Guinea’ was a goer. Weighing a little under 95 kilograms, he compensated for his small stature with speed, tenacity, marking skill and endurance.
Wearing his old laced-up boots, ‘Guinea’ stood alone for his size and weight. Reminiscing in The Saturday Journal of 16 May 1925, ‘Umpire’ said: “He could follow all day, and was well liked because he was plucky and fair. He was fast and dashing, and very much of the style of that old Magarey Medallist ‘Sorry’ Tierney.” *
‘Guinea’ was a member of the Norwood team which beat South Melbourne for the Premiership of Australia in 1888 and was prominent in Norwood’s hat trick of premierships from 1887 to 1889. He was named third best in 1889 when Norwood won the historic first grand final and its ninth flag, beating Port Adelaide 7.4 to 5.9. After that he moved to the ailing Adelaide club for one more season, holding his own against the best followers of the day but powerless to arrest the 1896 premier’s slide towards oblivion.
His final football statement was emphatic, earning and then with fine play justifying his selection as a wingman in the first South Australian team to beat Victoria, 6.8 to 4.6 at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground on 10 July 1890
Outside of football, he served with the Norwood Volunteer Fire Brigade and as a lightweight boxer was sparring at Roachock’s Athletic Hall in 1888.
The Journal of 18 August 1922 reported that ‘Guinea’ Dixon was still following his calling in the tobacco trade in Brisbane. We believe he was William Kirkland Dixon, born at North Adelaide on 7 January 1860 to William and Grace (Kirkland) Dixon, parents of four sons and three daughters. He married Elizabeth Squires in 1887 and they had daughters Grace, Elsie May and Elizabeth. ‘Guinea’ died in Brisbane on 27 November 1922
* James ‘Sorry’ Tierney won the Magarey Medal with West Adelaide in 1908
P. Robins, D. Cox November 2019