The opponents know how to provoke Hickson


Wednesday, February 10 – 1960
Dave Hickson, controversial Liverpool centre forward, has been given a break by the Football Association. Hickson, sent off, against Sheffield United in January for the third time in his turbulent career, was notified, yesterday, that he had been cleared of the accusation of violent conduct.
The FA Disciplinary Committee stated, however, that the referee was justified in giving Hickson a caution.
Now I say it is time for some of his fellow professionals to lay off.
Liverpool manager Bill Shankly may have been indiscreet when he named clubs whose players, he claimed, had provoked Hickson. But the fact remains that the Merseyside Tearaway HAS been the victim of “whispering” tactics which have been used to upset him in some matches.
For too long he has been taking the rap when referees should have been reprimanding other players
The Liverpool leader is no Soccer-saint. He has never pretended to be one, with his dynamic all-action style. But only this week a club manager who once clashed regularly with Hickson in League football told me:
“Play fair with Dave and he’ll play fair with you.
“I always enjoyed my clashes with him. It’s only when people go out of their way to upset him that the trouble starts.”
Hickson was a happy man when he heard the news on arriving at Anfield for training.
He said: “I’ve got the break I wanted. It’s up to me to make the most of it.
“If I had been suspended for a fourth time it would have played on my mind.
“Now I hope to get the breaks in the game. After the way the hearing went I expected a heavy fine.”
Jimmy Hill, Professional Footballers’ Association chairman, praised the Disciplinary Committee who handled Monday’s hearing.
“They did the sensible thing,” he said.
“They listened intently for the ninety-five minutes, which is a long time for a hearing of this sort.
“And they went to great pains to make sure they knew as much as anybody possibly could.”
The Disciplinary Committee’s statement said that Hickson was guilty of misconduct, and that Mr. Jack Pickles, of Stockport, was justified in administering a caution.
But the statement added:
“In view of the conflicting evidence, the Commisson is not satisfied that Hickson was guilty of deliberate violent conduct for which he was sent off.
“The Commission has decided that the caution administered to Hickson be recorded.
“No order is made as to the costs of the Commission.”
(Daily Mirror, 11-02-1960)

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