Dean Dawson was born at Gumeracha on 13 March 1881. He commenced playing for Norwood in 1901 while studying medicine at the University of Adelaide. Dawson was an outstanding all round sportsman who played football, cricket and lacrosse during his student days.
In his first year at Norwood, Dawson won the most promising junior award which was followed by the best forward award in 1902.
Dawson was a forward noted for his kicking and in particular, long place kicks. He played in the 1901 and 1904 premiership teams and was appointed captain in 1906 when Phil Newland was ruled out for the season due to injury.
In 1906, Norwood lost the first game of the season but went on to record 12 consecutive victories until the preliminary final against North Adelaide to decide who would play off against minor premiers Port Adelaide. Dawson was named in the side but was a late withdrawal due to a “very bad cold”. Norwood lost the final and newspaper reports suggested that Dawson’s absence as captain and leading forward was a major factor in the team’s defeat. The Chronicle 15 Sept 1906 reported “...after the display by Norwood against North Adelaide the majority of spectators left the ground convinced that one man, by his absence, had in some measure contributed to the downfall of the red and blues. I refer to Dean Dawson”
Dawson graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1905 as a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery. In December 1906 he was appointed as a general practitioner in the town of Laura in the mid-north of South Australia. In March 1907 he married Miss Eulalie Burnard but sadly his new wife died in September of the same year.
Dawson later remarried and continued to practice in the mid-north of the state. In 1915 he was appointed as a Captain in the AIF and served as a Medical Officer at Heliopolis in Egypt until his twelve month commission was terminated in 1916. It appears that he did not resume playing football after leaving Norwood but he did play cricket in the mid-north competitions.
Dr Dean Dawson died in Adelaide aged 58 on 21 March 1939.
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