Brian Dixon- Stockport County Caligrapher.
Brian at the first SCAN Presentation.
Brian Dixon- County Caligrapher
Amongst all the outstanding records held by Stockport County is one less known than the average, namely the Stockport County Appearance Number scheme ( SCAN), a scheme modelled on the England Cricket Team one, but unique to County in the football world.
The SCAN system allocates a number to every player who has ever played a competitive game for the Club, and starts way back in 1894 until the present day.
A dedicated team is responsible for the production of the certificates and the corner stone of this tightly knit collection of highly motivated Hatters is Brian Dixon an unassuming chap from Hazel Grove.
Brian is the first link in the chain and everything springs from his skilled efforts as a caligrapher which add the players personal playing details to the certificate prior to framing.
So....just who is Brian Dixon , and how did he get so vitally involved with County generally and SCAN in particular?
Well....Brian was born in Longsight, Manchester ,in February 1937,and left school at 15 ,in 1952,to start work locally as a Coach Painter.
He married his beloved wife Edith 51 years ago in 1962 at the Bethesda International Church in Longsight, before getting the wanderlust and taking off to South Africa where he put his skills ,acquired as an apprentice in UK, to excellent use by starting up a sign writing business.
Returning some years later to Britain, Brian started to teach Coach Painting, Sign Writing and Caligraphy at the Central Manchester College. The year was 1975 and the content of Brian`s chosen teaching subjects highly significant as this was the first class anywhere in the UK to offer Sign Writing as a subject!
Since 1975 Brian has continued to pass on his skills to others and since moving ,with Edith, to Hazel Grove has been a lively /active member of Hazel Grove Baptist Church, evangelising as often as he can. Brian, a committed Christian,practises what he preaches, and is heavily involved in supporting local Charity`s....Furniture Station and Food Bank , as well as a Romanian charity that supports old folk in that country, by ,amongst other things, making garden furniture( wind mills....bird tables etc) the proceeds from which go to the afore mentioned good causes.
So....how did Brian come to connect with County, and more to the point, how does he manage to fit the time in to do the excellent work for SCAN that he does?
Well....Brian, a goal keeper in his youth, has always followed football but it took a call from County historian Ian Watts to bring him into the County family way back in 2010.
I cannot answer my own question as to how he finds the time,but he does and he enjoys coming to Edgeley Park on an occasional basis too, and is impressed by the enthusiastic support that the Club attracts even in these dark days.
Asked is he coming to Edgeley Park again this season- Brian replies with an emphatic `Yes!'
And his advice for anyone setting out on the journey of life- ` Put everything you have got into every opportunity you get'
Sounds like excellent advice Brian.