Career: Circa 1951
There’s nothing like a high flyer to gain attention and in this department ‘Dixie’ excelled with his weekly aerobatics in front of an adoring supporter base.
Adopting a unique crouched kicking style, Dixie always hooked his drop kicks which kept everyone entertained as they tried to predict the outcomes of his marking and kicking attempts.
‘Dixie’ was personality plus, always very popular and yes, he could also play the game well.
There was no such thing as moulded soles, coloured boots or any other fancy stuff in those days - everything was leather - boots, studs, laces the lot. And the studs were nailed into the leather soles using a hammer and a steel boot last to act as support for the boot. All clubs possessed the necessary tools to enable the players to manage any repairs that they deemed necessary. Umpires sometimes inspected the stops before play but it was generally a rare practice. The nails would become exposed and become almost lethal as they gouged their way down one’s torso or legs and that’s where ‘Dixie’ Boland came in.
‘Dixie’, you see, loved nothing better than to set himself for a high mark and he excelled at using his stops to clamber up the side of human packs to take a big grab. His victims would include players from both sides who would be left reeling with scratch marks and cuts all for no reward. For ‘Dixie’ however, it was a win-win situation. He would gain applause from an admiring crowd whilst remaining unscathed from the contest.