Over the summer one of the great names in Merseyside Football passed away but his achievements will always be remembered. Dave Hickson held the rare achievement of playing for Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere during his career. However he was not the only player to have played for all three Merseyside teams.

For a man who spent the majority of his playing career in Merseyside Dave Hickson was originally from Salford. As child however he moved with his family to Ellesmere Port were he started his Football career. Ellesmere Port Town had already produced the likes of Joe Mercer and Hickson would soon be added to the list of Ellesmere Port greats.

Like Mercer Hickson joined Everton in 1948 but didn’t make his debut until 1951 as he was called up for National Service. Whilst in the Army he came across the Tranmere and Everton legend Dixie Dean who was coaching the Cheshire Army Cadets team.

When Hickson made his debut for the then Second Division Everton side he became an instant favourite with his physical style of Football. By 1954 Hickson’s efforts helped Everton back into the First Division but to much surprise Hickson was sold to Aston Villa. He never settled at Villa and after a short spell under Bill Shankly at Huddersfield Town he returned to Goodison Park.

Hickson however couldn’t find his original form and was sold to the club across Stanley Park, Liverpool FC. Everton fans were in despair at one of their favourites signing for their biggest rivals. Hickson however let his football do the talking scoring twice in his Anfield debut.

By 1961 Hickson was 32 and the then Manager Shankly had to let Hickson go for younger blood. After spending a limited time with Cambridge United and Bury Hickson found himself at Prenton Park.

Originally joining Tranmere in July he played in the Reserves in the Cheshire League. Record attendances were achieved at the Reserve games as 10,000 fans were recorded at each game as everyone wanted to see the Merseyside legend.

He was soon in the first team for Tranmere Rovers and his first home game was against Hartlepool. The game finished 6-1 to Rovers with Hickson receiving the credit for Tranmere’s success as the Echo stated ‘It was through Hickson’s astute leadership that the home attack was welding into a smooth working and penetrating force.’

Hickson’s age however caught up with the player who only made 52 appearances for Tranmere but he still scored 25 goals. After Tranmere he returned to Ellesmere Port and became a bookmaker.

Hickson had played for all three Merseyside clubs but he was not the first as that accolade fell to a goal keeper Frank Mitchell. This Scotsman started his career in Merseyside at Everton but struggled to beat Elisha Scott for the first team position.

He joined Liverpool in 1920 but didn’t make his debut until the February of 1921 and only made 18 appearances for the Reds.

After breaking his wrist in a Reserve game in 1923 he moved across the River to Tranmere Rovers. His first game for the Wirral club was against Grimsby which Tranmere won 2-1. Little fanfare was made of the goalkeeper with his only mention in post match reports being ‘…Carmichael, the Grimsby Centre man nearly had Mitchell beat after the Ex Evertonian had misjudged a centre from M’kenna.’ In all Mitchell made 55 appearances for Rovers and left the club in 1925.

The third man of Merseyside was John (Jackie) Heydon, who like the Hickson and Mitchell started out with Everton Reserves in 1946. The Birkenhead lad however soon moved onto Liverpool in 1949 but had to wait until 1950 for his debut at Anfield. After making 67 appearances for Liverpool he moved to Tranmere in 1956 where he made 76 appearances and scored one goal during his time at Prenton Park.

These three men all had differing success during their playing careers but each can truly claim to be a Merseyside man, representing all its colours.

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