EVERTON legend Dave Hickson is in mourning after the sudden death of his devoted wife Pat at their Great Sutton home.
Mrs Hickson, 77, died in bed during the early hours of Thursday at the couples’ home in Greystones, Great Sutton with her husband of 25 years by her side.
The 81-year-old former blues hero was born in Ellesmere Port and was known as the Cannonball Kid during a playing career which also saw him play for Tranmere and Liverpool.
He told friends Mrs Hickson had suffered hot and cold flushes and he was unable to revive her.
He called paramedics but his wife, who had previously been feeling well despite ongoing problems with angina, was declared dead at around 1am.
Mrs Hickson, who had three children from a previous marriage, always accompanied her husband at Everton events, and was present at the Blues' Former Players Foundation 10th anniversary dinner at Goodison Park on November 15.
Her son-in-law Patrick Ryan said: “Pat’s life, as Dave’s does, revolved around Everton FC. He will continue his active participation in the club, and wants to be at Goodison Park for the game on Saturday.
“He is best being around his friends and keeping to his routine at the moment, so he is determined to be at the West Brom match.”
Ex Toffees manager Howard Kendall said it was a “sad day for the club”. He said: “It is heart-breaking. Dave and Pat were the perfect couple, and she was every inch the doting wife.
“Pat was a lovely lady and went everywhere with Dave, who is an absolute gentleman. He has had his own health problems lately, so I’m very upset for him.”
Close friend Ivor Scholes, who holidayed with the couple every year in Southern France, said: “I’ve spoken to Dave and as you’d expect he is devastated.
“Pat was a huge Everton supporter, very passionate about the club and very supportive of Dave in every way possible.
“She was a very elegant lady, a great hostess and cook who catered for Dave’s every culinary whim and loved him so much.
"I remember fondly the parties she used to host when we went on holiday, and she was held in the highest esteem by all of the wives of Dave’s former team-mates.”