Everton legend Dave Hickson has died today at the age of 83 the Everton Former Players Foundation announced.
Hickson arrived at Everton from Ellesmere Port Town in 1948, but due to the National Service he did not make his first appearance for the Toffees until 1951 away at Leeds United.
The center forward immediately made an impression for the club with his physical and imposing frame that gave him an edge in the air. As is true with many Everton heroes, he earned accolades not only for his fantastic play, but also for his hard work and complete devotion to the club.
The biggest example of his grit came in 1953 during the 5th round FA Cup match against Manchester United. There Hickson received a gash to his head after sticking it near a group of flailing legs. He returned to score the game winner while continuing to lose blood.
Eventually he left Everton for Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town before returning to Everton for a second stint. Sadly the one blemish on his career came when Hickson signed with rivals Liverpool. Later Hickson signed with Tranmere Rovers and became the first player to play for all three Liverpool area clubs in the professional ranks.
He finished his career with 111 goals in 243 matches for Everton, and in 404 career matches he scored 182 goals.
He personified his relationship with the club in an interview when he said, "I would have died for Everton, I would have broke every other bone in my body for any other club, that's how I look at it, you know, if it was that much I would have died for this club."
After retiring he stayed out of football for some time, but eventually returned to Everton after meeting Bill Kenwright. The two formed a friendship that lasted through the years. Hickson eventually became a tour guide at Goodison Park and was always quick with a few good stories of an era when men played the game for a pittance. He was one of the few great men left from that time, and it showed during his tours. He will be sorely missed at Everton.