Everton lost a legend today with the news that Dave Hickson has sadly passed away at the age of 83 following illness.
Nicknamed the "Cannonball Kid" for his cavalier style, he was a Blues hero in the 1950s who had the rare distinction of playing for all three Merseyside clubs in his career.
He was an unabashed Evertonian, though, once saying that he would have broken bones for any team he played for but he would have died for Everton.
In his Everton Encyclopedia, James Corbett encapsulated the the much-loved Goodison Great:
A swashbuckling cavalier, he played like a human battering ram, running through opposing defences with the verve of a Boy's Own hero. With his trademark blond quiff, he looked the part, too.
His commitment to the club he loved continued long after his playing days and he remained a club employee right up to last season where he conducted stadium tours of Goodison Park and he was a matchday regular.
Described universally as a true gentleman who had time for everyone, Dave will be sorely missed.
Watch » Video of some interviews with Dave posted by the Everton Former Players Foundation
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527 Posted 08/07/2013 at 17:54:48
A true gentleman.
My wife and I were lucky enough to meet him a few years ago.
A modest, humble man who loved Everton and everything associated with the might blues.
530 Posted 08/07/2013 at 17:56:41
That image above is absolutely brilliant.
Hopefully there'll be some marking of it at one of the games so we can show our support and appreciation.
531 Posted 08/07/2013 at 17:56:47
Sadly dad passed away a few months ago after a short illness - one great man following another - they will talk Everton for eternity.
God bless him and all his family.
536 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:09:04
My mum and dad's favourite player...........and they saw a lot!
All the best to his family.
537 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:03:53
539 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:08:35
540 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:11:18
We at ToffeeWeb extend our sympathies both to his family and the employees at Everton who will no doubt miss him in equal measure.
541 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:15:00
544 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:15:24
547 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:19:28
548 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:17:25
550 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:17:57
Used to get kicked and cut but unlike today's whining prima donnas he got up and got on with it.
A legend till the end. R.I.P. Davie.
552 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:25:40
554 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:25:05
556 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:29:27
rest in peace Dave
557 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:27:09
I was fortunate to see him play in the 1950's.
559 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:30:25
RIP Dave an Everton legend
561 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:32:36
562 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:33:55
563 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:38:02
" I would break every bone in my body for any club.I would die for Everton"
God bless you Davy.RIP.
564 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:36:39
567 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:39:33
570 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:36:40
His famous quote comes to mind; that's what you call a real legend. RIP, Davie.
571 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:43:09
573 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:42:44
Everton and the World is a poorer place for his loss. My thoughts go to his family.
576 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:43:04
A true gentleman and a true Evertonian. One of those chosen ones who will live forever in the Goodison folklore.
My sympathies to his family and friends.
579 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:48:14
580 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:48:51
581 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:43:24
RIP, Dave a real legend and an example to all these Johnny-come-Latley types who haven't a clue about class and how to conduct themselves. We will never see his like again... God Bless
586 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:51:47
Condolences to his family.
RIP Dave, Evertonians will never forget you.
588 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:58:22
I met him in 1997 and had my photograph taken with him.
Really nice man - a true gentleman and Evertonian.
589 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:53:58
So sad, more Dave Hickson's would set "The Grand Old Lady" afire.
Thanks Dave, you will always be as important to your club as your club was to you. Say hello to William Ralph, Tommy and Joe.
593 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:01:52
595 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:54:22
A true gentleman and will be sadly missed.RIP
My sympathies to his family and friends
596 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:04:50
RIP Cannonball Kid, these modern day wannabe mercenaries are not and never will be good enough to lace your boots.
RIP Dave Hickson, now joining the likes of Catterick, Dean, Labone and Ball in the great Goodison in the sky.
597 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:02:13
605 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:12:02
In my mind you are the type of man for whom the word legend should sit easy on your shoulders.
607 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:14:53
611 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:26:41
613 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:23:22
RIP, Dave Hickson — the Cannibal Kid!
614 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:29:10
617 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:22:55
One of my dad's heroes too, and my three uncles. All Blues, and now alas all dead too. The Everton family mourns one of its own.
618 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:35:27
620 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:16:25
I also watched his debut for Liverpool against the Villa when he scored both goals in a 2-1 win and I recall seeing him play for Tranmere against Chelsea in a cup-tie.
I met him a few times in later years and he was always approachable,friendly and happy to talk about games gone by.
621 Posted 08/07/2013 at 18:50:41
623 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:49:23
624 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:49:57
628 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:05:19
630 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:18:26
631 Posted 08/07/2013 at 19:59:02
Condolences to his family.
632 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:16:00
He used to leave his beloved wife in the Joe Mercer lounge to meet and greet as many people as he could before the ref blew his whistle to start the game. Lovely Pat didn't mind — she knew what the club meant to him.
Now they are together; Rest in Peace, Dave.
634 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:27:09
Never saw him play, nor met him but I know from others that he was a true Blue, legend and gentleman. RIP Dave.
639 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:14:35
Farrell, Jones, Lello
Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington,
Sadly we all have to go sometime, but that doesn't lessen the pain when true legends leave us. Dave was as good as his word — he DID die for Everton.
Thanks For The Memories Lad, now rest in peace.
642 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:40:16
Condolences to all who knew him. A true gent from an era sadly gone.
647 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:52:27
649 Posted 08/07/2013 at 20:59:46
Sorry, seems to be a RS site!
662 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:21:58
I played against him once when he guested for the over-the-hill mob, he must have been 65, his boot laces wrapped round his old style boots. He barged into me and knocked me over, it was brilliant. I told him I would never wash my kit again!
Last time I spoke to him was a couple of years ago on an Easyjet flight with his wife to the south of France where he was staying for the summer – I carried his cases from the plane, through passport control and into a taxi.
What a gentleman and a true blue for ever.
663 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:31:45
665 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:10:01
666 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:32:51
A true Everton legend who will be sadly missed.
667 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:31:47
R I P Legend.
With him and Dixie up there in heaven, there's a few centre halves looking for a way downstairs!
669 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:33:39
As I live abroad I regrettably don't get to attend matches at Goodison very often.Back in 2007 I had saved up money so I could make the trip to Merseyside, and during my visit I was going on a stadium tour hosted by the legend himself.
Sadly, only a few days before the tour, Hickson suffered a heart attack and was hospitalised for some time. I was absolutely gutted missing out on the chance to meet the "Cannonball Kid" in person, but thankfully he recovered well from the incident.
Dave Hickson will live on forever in Everton folklore.
671 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:51:46
673 Posted 08/07/2013 at 21:57:56
My sympathies to his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones... May he rest in peace.
Thank you for your contribution Mr Hickson!!!
674 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:09:50
676 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:06:53
Rest In Peace.
677 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:07:07
684 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:17:16
686 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:09:46
687 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:25:09
688 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:15:29
We spent a priceless few minutes talking about football as it used to be played, and shared the irony and satisfaction of having just embarrassed a club that contradicted everything that Dave stood for.....undying loyalty to his club where the glory and enjoyment of playing came second to the money.
A gentle and modest man , who seemed genuinely pleased and humble that a mere mortal like me should consider a short chat with an icon like him.
He played before my time, but I can recall everything my late Dad told me about Dave as a player in his heyday......and I feel a bit empty tonight.
God bless Mr Hickson.
692 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:20:11
694 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:35:58
Players from that period (50s/60s) always seem to have a real affinity with the club and the fans that would be impossible to foster in this day and age. They were truly working class heroes that interacted with, and inspired, the local community. Dave Hickson may not have been handed the lucrative contracts & luxury lifestyle that nowadays comes as standard to sub-par players who would struggle to even lace his boots, but he earned something much more enduring.....true legendary status.... and the admiration and respect of generations of Evertonians.
And what about that nickname? 'The Cannonball Kid'! Kicks the crap out of 'Pip' or a yawn-inducing 'y' whacked on the end of every single surname.
695 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:28:06
A good player by all accounts, my dad loved him, and a nice man to any Blue he met. Very humble as well.
Steve Jones, that is a great post. Hairs on the back of the neck stuff there.
696 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:45:53
698 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:38:12
700 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:59:14
701 Posted 08/07/2013 at 22:39:30
He was a man who clearly loved the club though, and was deeply loved in return.
Seeing him in the stands he always looked to me like a member of a family - not a supporter, ex-player or guest, but part of the fabric of the club - and someone who made you proud to say you were an Evertonian. One of the greats.
All thoughts to his family.
713 Posted 08/07/2013 at 23:36:55
One thing not mentioned is his love of the horses. We'd be sitting there, waiting for some words of wisdom over the team selection and Dave would point us in the direction of the 2nd favourite in the 3:00 at York!
All the fans, and I would add the other ex-players wandering through the lounges all treated him with the utmost respect. He had a store of awful jokes, but of course everyone laughed. So proud to have met him...
715 Posted 08/07/2013 at 23:58:42
Obviously I can't confirm if it was true or not, but my dad would sing to me to the tune of Davy Crockett (I think it was a 50s tv series??)... "Davy, Davy Hickson – king of the forward line".
717 Posted 09/07/2013 at 00:06:54
Without doubt, the perfect illustration of that was the wonderful winning goal he scored against Man Utd in what I think was a 5th round cup game at Goodison when he had returned to the pitch with his head bandaged. What a header from almost the edge of the box if my memory serves me right.
In addition, as youngsters we remembered his battles against centre-halves whose names I think were Ken Chisholm (Plymouth I think) and Malcolm Barrass I think at Bolton at the time who were "uncompromising" to say the least! Even as young boys we knew that these were real "battles" but "our Dave" never seemed to flinch.
I can even remember my first experience of real sadness associated with Dave Hickson – when he went to play for Villa and even worse – Liverpool. But that was simply were he went to "work" – we all knew that deep down he was an Evertonian.
As an Evertonian I can only express my thanks for the part he played in my early days of learning to be a Blue and to extend my genuine sympathies to his family.
721 Posted 09/07/2013 at 00:43:14
Both now sadly gone but hopefully dad will have a beer waiting for him at Heaven's Bar so they can continue to reminisce. His 'Break Every Bone' quote is right up there, together with Labby's 'One Evertonian' and Bally's 'Never Leaves You' quotes, as the best description of our special Blue family. Not wanting to wish my life away, but, get a pint ready on the bar for me men so we can continue our footy chats. RIP, The Great Dave Hickson.
723 Posted 09/07/2013 at 01:46:44
726 Posted 09/07/2013 at 02:01:18
RIP Dave Hickson, Everton Legend.
730 Posted 09/07/2013 at 04:42:47
737 Posted 09/07/2013 at 07:41:01
738 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:02:54
Bumped into him at the players entrance at GP back in 96. It was a Monday night game on Sky against Coventry and my son was attending his first match. When Dave found out he made a real fuss of him, with his love of all things blue. He still goes to this day, with memories of the great mans words still in his head.
739 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:15:14
741 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:34:23
743 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:36:35
Gone but never forgotten.
744 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:32:30
752 Posted 09/07/2013 at 09:14:50
On seeing us coming, he hid behind a pillar, and did the Harry Worth thing, if you remember! – sticking one leg and an arm out from behind pillar.
A gentleman, wonderful company for those couple of hours. RIP.
753 Posted 09/07/2013 at 09:04:10
Football was his favourite sport,
Went to Goodison for half-a-crown,
Then to Villa and Huddersfield Town.
Davy, Davy Hickson....."
Peter Cummins #639
That team made my heart skip a beat, except that I think you've got Fielding and Parker swapped around.
"John Willie" was always inside-right and "Wally" was inside-left.
754 Posted 09/07/2013 at 08:59:49
From time to time I'm very lucky to be invited on corporate days by a friend, and some suppliers myself and my wife deal with. About 4 years ago we were invited to a day in the 300 Club, and whoever is man of the match comes in for photo's etc.This day it happened to be Jags who was introduced by Dave. We had my Grandsons autograph book so we asked Jags to sign it which he obviously did. I then asked Dave could he sign it which he was only to happy to do. Now fast forward to the following year, and we where again invited on another corporate day, only this time in the Joe Mercer Suite. As I was walking through the suite I saw Dave coming the other way and nodded in his direction, he stopped shuck my hand and said nice to meet you again, I thought he was just being nice but he actually said, " you where the chap who asked for my autograph in the 300 Club". To say I was amazed is an understatement, obviously I recognised him but for him to recognise me made me feel ten foot tall
All the best to his family and thanks for everything Dave.
766 Posted 09/07/2013 at 09:58:47
I didn't know until this morning he played for an amateur team until he was in his in his 70s!
Only one of 8 players to pass the 100 goal mark for the club.
Got to mention all the nice things our red neighbours are saying about the man also - the mark of a true great!!
787 Posted 09/07/2013 at 10:53:26
Fantastic article in the echo today with photos of Dave in his prime.
789 Posted 09/07/2013 at 10:58:47
790 Posted 09/07/2013 at 10:58:08
800 Posted 09/07/2013 at 11:45:41
808 Posted 09/07/2013 at 11:14:34
When I was 9 or 10, a mate of my Dad (Bill Warrington) promised to take me to a game. Very few cars them days so our journey would be by public transport.
On the Saturday, we caught the Crosville bus to Birkenhead for the first leg of our journey. A couple of stops later (Cemetery Gates), I looked out of the window to see my hero waiting to get on. I didn't know at the time that Dave & Bill lived in the same street, so imagine my feelings when Bill beckoned to Dave to come over. I'm in heaven – not only on my way to Goodison, but my hero is sat within touching distance & he's talking to me.
We chatted all the way to Birkenhead & walked down to Woodside where guess what - Dave actually paid for me on the Ferry & again on the bus from the Pier Head up to the ground.
The rest of the day is a blur – but even now, over 60 years later, that day seems like yesterday.
Thank you Dave for my most magical childhood memory.
820 Posted 09/07/2013 at 12:27:59
Actually I still have a programme showing that lineup, maybe a misprint as I was always able to rattle that team off as it was the same one for ages, unlike today when you sometimes can't pronounce the names let alone the lineups.
Being 75 and a lifetime Blue for around 70 of those years, my memories of both the Everton greats and those of other clubs could fill a book. Keep the faith, lads.
831 Posted 09/07/2013 at 13:14:08
835 Posted 09/07/2013 at 13:20:38
861 Posted 09/07/2013 at 14:45:53
Maybe the number 9 should be sent on it's way with him.
909 Posted 09/07/2013 at 16:24:24
920 Posted 09/07/2013 at 16:45:36
935 Posted 09/07/2013 at 17:25:45
937 Posted 09/07/2013 at 17:21:11
At your best with the club you loved, Everton. I first saw you at Tranmere at the end of your career and you still had flashes of class. You loved the game.
I remember having kickabouts around 1964 on the football pitches at Ness.
938 Posted 09/07/2013 at 17:36:33
002 Posted 09/07/2013 at 18:20:09
Peter Cummings is right regarding Wally Fielding and John Willie Parker, John Willie played the vast majority of his games at inside left, he made a handful of appearances at outside left (his debut position against Blackpool in a 2-0 defeat) this game was also Jock Lindsay's home debut, he was given a torrid time by Stanley Matthews. I witnessed this fixture from the boys pen. (Before the Bill Kenwright era!)
I have many great memories of Davey Hickson most notably the Man Utd FA Cup tie in 1953 and that wonderful night at Boundary Park in 1954. The most memorable moment for me, however, didn't happen on the football pitch; it was when Davey was playing for the Reserves in the old Central League.
I was at the time an avid collector of autographs and one Saturday afternoon, prior to a Central League game, I asked Davey to sign my book. As he prepared to do so, he broke the point of my pencil (Biros were few and far between in those days) his words were "Ah, I have broken your penceel". He then took me into the newsagents opposite Wally's Cafe and had my pencil sharpened, and completed the autograph signing. It's hard to imagine any of today's professional footballer (at any level) treating an 11-year-old schoolboy in the same way.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had purchased an Everton book for me prior to going on tour of Goodison Park, and he relayed the pencil episode to Davey and asked him to sign the book; Davey did so as follows:
"To Johnny Mac,
I have written this with my own pen
A true example of once a Blue always a Blue. Rest in Peace, Davey.
039 Posted 09/07/2013 at 20:09:25
"He is the idol of our crowd
He is our pride and joy
You'll always hear the Goodison roar
When out trots Davie boy"
RIP, Davie boy.
101 Posted 09/07/2013 at 22:59:49
In the first minute against Doncaster Rovers the ball was in our half. Davy and the Rovers centre half, a mountain of a man were alone in their half. Not seen by the referee the centre half knocked Davy unconcious with a headbut.
Dave was stretchered off with blood streaming down his face.
There was an almighty roar when Dave returned with his head bandaged. ( no subs allowed in those days)
With any by your leave Dave calmly strolled up to Noble a dropped the big fellow with a right hander.
The whole of Goodison saw it and unfortunately so did the Ref who sent him off.
Dave calmly walked to the tunnel to a mighty roar from the faithful.
244 Posted 10/07/2013 at 14:45:54
Obviously, the players changed match-day numbers, unlike today, but what number did he most commonly wear?
280 Posted 10/07/2013 at 15:29:45
He had no word of criticism for any of the clubs he played for or the hard case defenders he came up against in his marvellous career. His love for Everton was incredible; his only regret, not playing for his country, an honour he richly deserved. My only deep regret is not being able to see him going to his final rest, but I will hope to visit his grave when we come over in September. RIP
295 Posted 10/07/2013 at 16:17:05
300 Posted 10/07/2013 at 16:21:48
If you can trust Everton – The Complete Record (co-authoured by Ian Ross!), then it was exclusively No 9...
But with one exception:
At Preston NE on 11 September 1958, when he wore No 8 (Harburn wore 9) and scored Everton's consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat.
515 Posted 10/07/2013 at 21:24:10
Let's face it, he couldn't keep playing. The only reason to come back on was to lay that fucker out.
Will admit some envy. I didn't get to see him.
578 Posted 11/07/2013 at 03:40:07
There's a a DVD sometimes available on eBay of the Tranmere / Chelsea FA Cup tie in 1963 in which Dave played. Score was 2-2.
874 Posted 11/07/2013 at 22:32:18
957 Posted 12/07/2013 at 11:18:44
004 Posted 12/07/2013 at 14:55:30
I remember getting his autograph when I was about 12 in Horton's restaurant in New Brighton on a Sunday afternoon. He was with Alex Parker and their respective wives and he was so nice, a weedy word, I know, but he was that overused word nice sums him up. I remember crying a few months later when Everton sold him to Liverpool.
I feel shocked, he was a hero to all Evertonians of that era and he has gone. Sympathy to all his relatives.
665 Posted 14/07/2013 at 21:34:12
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