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Percival (Percy) Dawson was born in Cullercoats, Scotland, on 29th November, 1890. He played centre forward for non-league sides, Whitley Athletic and North Shields before joining Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish League.
In 1911 Hearts decided to improve its Tynecastle Stadium by building a new grandstand. The cost of the new facility was £12,000, double the original estimate, and Hearts were required to sell their most valuable player, Percy Dawson. In 1913 Blackburn Rovers bought Dawson for a new record transfer fee of £2,500. He joined Danny Shea who had been purchased from West Ham United for a fee of £2,000 the previous year. The Blackburn forward line also included the English international, Edwin Latheron.
In 1913-14 season, Blackburn won their second First Division of the Football League title in three years. Danny Shea was top scorer with 27 goals. Dawson and Edwin Latheron also made useful contributions to the 78 goals scored that season. This was 13 more than their nearest rivals Aston Villa.
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 brought an end to professional football in Britain. Some of Blackburn's best players, such as Edwin Latheron, joined the British Army. Whereas Danny Shea returned to London where he worked as a docker for the rest of the war.
Dawson returned to Blackburn Rovers after the war and remained until 1922. During a four year period Dawson scored 71 goals in 140 games. Dawson played four games for Barrow in 1923 before retiring from professional football.