Last Updated: 06/07/20 11:12pm
Merseyside Police are undertaking an investigation after footage showed a burning flare causing damage to the Dixie Dean statue outside Everton’s Goodison Park stadium.
The statue of the former Everton striker, who died at age 73 in 1980, holds great sentimental value to the club’s supporters, who often put it to use as a spot to lay tributes for other supporters who have recently passed away.
Footage circulating on social media seemed to show a flare caught in the arm of the statue, provoking outrage from lots of the club’s supporters.
“We are aware of footage showing a flare at the Dixie Dean statue outside Goodison Park,” Merseyside Police said in a statement on Monday.
“The footage appears to show a flare on the statue on Spellow Lane, and enquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances.”
Everton released a statement on Monday night saying they are assisting Merseyside Police with the enquiries.
It read: “We encourage you aren’t information with this disappointing and disrespectful incident to contact Merseyside Police.
“Following inspection – and cleaning of the memorial and your website – we could thankfully confirm no permanent damage has been done to the statue of our greatest-ever goalscorer – or the floral tributes laid at the root of the statue.”
Merseyside Police acting chief inspector Robert Ross added: “I would urge anyone who knows who’s responsible for putting a flare on the Dixie Dean statue, a focal point for so many people sometimes of celebration and grief, to contact us.”
Dean’s granddaughter Melanie Prentice, who is the director of the city centre hotel which bears his name, wrote to Everton appearing to insinuate that the supporter of local rivals Liverpool was responsible for the incident.
“We are disappointed, saddened and to be honest a little puzzled as to why someone should decide to desecrate the statue of Grandad in this manner,” Prentice said.
“The perpetrators are obviously not aware of the warm, friendly and cordial relationship my grandad enjoyed with Liverpool legend Bill Shankly. Or that my grandad’s statue is really a place where relatives lay flowers for folks who have recently passed on. It is inappropriate and entirely unnecessary.”
Super 6: Three on the spin for Man Utd
Do not miss your possiblity to land the £250,000 jackpot for a sixth time this year on Saturday. Play at no cost, entries by 3pm.