Whitehaven, Cumbria born goalkeeper Bob Dixon began his football career with North Eastern League club West Stanley before he was spotted by First Division club Stoke’s north-eastern scouts who had previously signed another goalkeeper, Richard Herron, from West Stanley, signing for them in 1922. He made his Football League debut in place of incumbent Leslie Scott in a 5-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers in January 1923 but he was at fault for Rovers’ goal and was ‘not at ease’. That nervy display convinced the management that he needed a spell in the reserves, and he was replaced by Gilbert Brookes and played just one more match, keeping a clean sheet against Birmingham in April 1923, although Stoke were relegated.
Early in the 1923-24 season Dixon won his place back, this time from Scottish international veteran Kenny Campbell. New manager Tom Mather installed Dixon as his first choice and he went on to conceded just three goals in three months and banish memories of his awkward debut. Rarely seen without his cloth cap, Dixon’s courage during the relegation battle of 1924-25 dug his errant defenders out of the mire on numerous occasions and he was not afraid to throw himself at oncoming forwards feet often leading to personal injury. However following errors in a 3-0 home defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers in March 1925, Dixon was dropped.
By the time he regained his place in the side from Campbell the following September, Stoke were already in the relegation places. The jittery defence struggled to cope with the new offside law and Dixon twice conceded seven goals as City were relegated. However Dixon missed just one match in 1926-27 as Stoke won the Third Division (North) Championship to return to the Second Division at the first time of asking. In 1927-28 Dixon again near ever-present, missing just one match as Stoke finished in fifth position. However he lost his place in September 1928 to Dick Williams and never regained it, having made exactly 200 appearances for The Potters.
In March 1929 he signed for West Ham United as understudy to England international Ted Hufton, playing twice for The Hammers that month. The next season saw him get a regular berth in the team from February 1930 to the end of the season. However the arrival of George Watson and the emergence of Pat McMahon as his deputy saw him lose his place early the following season, although he again took over the number one spot between November 1931 and March 1932 before being dropped, the season ending in West Ham’s relegation. He only made 3 more appearances at the start of the new season before losing his place to Watson, and left The Hammers in the summer of 1933, retiring from the game.
NB in the image he is shown along with West Ham team mates Reg Wade, Albert Cadwell and Ted Hufton.