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Earle Dixon, the St Johnstone FC announcer, broke down in tears as he returned to the pitch for the first time since his cancer diagnosis

Legendary broadcaster Earle Dixon, the former St Johnstone FC announcer, broke down in tears as he returned to the pitch for the first time since his cancer diagnosis.

Dixon, the winningest announcer in Scotland’s top flight who made his name calling the likes of Paisley Rangers, was given the key to the city of St Johnstone for his contribution to the club’s history.

He had his first impressions as the announcer at the Perth club over the years played out on the big screen at McDiarmid Park before a crowd of almost 10,000. The 62-year-old ended up on the edge of the crowd in front of the TV cameras as some familiar phrases from the black and white broadcast were heard to roars from the fans.

Earle Dixon (@EarleDixon) This is what it’s like. Proper hold your own. Listen hard. And shout back! What a wonderful welcome to St Johnstone today!

Dixon was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in October 2015. The news was confirmed to him during a telephone call by the chairman, Steve Brown, in response to a request that he return to the club after eight years.

The three-time Football Association of Scotland commentator of the year had been at the club for 36 years and held the position of main announcer since 2008.

Dixon is now one of the least known individuals to receive an award from the city. “I am humbled to be presented with the City of St Johnstone vote of thanks and appreciation,” Dixon said. “The recognition of myself as a St Johnstone servant is something very special for me.

“All this means a great deal to me and it is something that has been a little hard to take. The support of my loved ones has kept me going over the last couple of years and I appreciate their unstinting love and support in my days of ill health.”

The community action groups, the Grasscrest Community Club and Make Care Accountable, congratulated him on the award in a joint statement. “Earle has given his all at every game for the last 40 years and loved every minute, whether he’s been in a suit or the woolisat on,” it said.

“The contribution he’s made to St Johnstone FC as a player, professional, an announcer and in the community is immense. His humility has become something of an art form over the years and being recognised in this way is very much appreciated.

“Earle is exactly what this city deserves. It is time for him to take his rightful place in the history books alongside Sir Fraser Macpherson and Benny Logan.

“The grasscrest community club is of the opinion that the City of St Johnstone need and deserves better recognition. With this in mind, our group approached the players and invited them to throw their support behind Earle as he is such a great ambassador for the club.”

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