Two Middlesbrough legends have expressed their delight with the news that the iconic centre forward John Hickton has made a speedy recovery from his recent cancer scare - and have agreed to join him for a special event in Middlesbrough later this month.

Long-serving midfielder David Armstrong and Northern Ireland keeper Jim Platt will be part of An Evening with John Hickton & Boro Guests on Friday, September 27 at the Eston Labour Club, Fabian Road, Middlesbrough.

Spike Armstrong, who played over 350 games for Boro over a ten-year period: “We are all ecstatic that the big feller has made a full recovery in recent months. We were devastated when he was unable to join us for the 73/73 reunion over the Easter break, but to have him headlining his own special tribute night will be truly brilliant.

“It was never in doubt he would make it through as he has always been a total winner in every possible way.

“I remember starting out in the first team at Ayresome Park and Big John taking me to one side and telling me he would take care of me out there – ‘you are going to be just fine’ he would tell me.

“He would tell me how much he loved the fans and the fact that they loved him because he had a passion for wearing the red shirt. It was brilliant to hear John as a young lad, and it just inspired me to keep believing in my ability and myself as a player.’’

He added: “I am heading back from Southampton to join him and I know the Boro fans will make it a night to remember for the big man. John’s goal record still stands up today as nothing short of incredible. I have some great stories to tell. The likes of John Hickton only come around only very occasionally - so to be a part of this night will be truly memorable.’’

Goalkeeper Platt played close on 500 games over a 12-year period and struck up a lifetime friendship with Hickton.

He admitted: “I am thrilled that John is back to full health and will be meeting up with his old friends from around the Boro later this month.

“I wouldn’t miss this night for anything. It will be joy to recall those brilliant memories with John.

“Watching John in full flight from the other end of the pitch was truly unforgettable. He was a true leader out on the pitch – an inspiration. John was ferocious in full flight and his bond with the fans behind the Holgate end was incredible.

“I know it was a real worry to John and his family during his recent cancer scare but he was always full of fight and he has great self belief that will have helped him through.

“I was in touch and he kept saying that he was astounded by the sheer volume messages of goodwill from Boro fans – from young and old and from every corner of the globe!’’

The tribute evening will be hosted by BBC Tees radio presenter Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough and the fans will have a chance to put questions to John and the Boro greats, who will recall some of the finest days from the Ayresome Park.

An Evening With John Hickton (plus special Boro guests) will be held at the Eston Labour Club, Fabian Road, Middlesbrough, on Friday, September 27 at 8.15pm.

Tickets are £20 from the club on 01642 454642, from Goffy Media on 07990 588424 or online at