Roberto Martinez never got the chance to meet Dave Hickson.
But the Everton manager is under no illusions as to what a huge loss the legend’s passing is to the Club.
Hickson passed away on Monday evening and Martinez admitted his sadness at being unable to meet the Blues icon.
“I was never lucky enough to meet Dave Hickson but I’ve heard enough about him from people I really respect here at Everton to appreciate what a huge loss he is to this Club and all its supporters,” Martinez said.
“In my very first meeting with the Chairman, I was told all about Dave and what he meant to the fans. And I learned more about him when I came to the Club from the boys in the boot room.
“He was a legend of a player for Everton but he also dedicated so much of his life after his retirement to the football club. He will be sadly missed by everybody here.”
Martinez’s predecessor as Everton manager, David Moyes, also paid tribute to a man who had two playing stints for the club before returning as the tour guide and matchday host.
“Dave was regular at Goodison Park during my time at Everton and he always had a kind word to say,” said Moyes.
“He was never anything less than fully supportive of myself and the team and I was deeply saddened when I heard that he had passed away.
“Dave is quite rightly known as a legend at Everton and he will be sadly missed by everyone connected with the club. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”