Ex-England and Everton footballer Gary Stevens' son tragically dies aged four
The young son of former England footballer Gary Stevens has died tragically aged four.
Steven’s son Jack was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.
Just a year ago his family were hopeful of a recovery after Jack underwent a stem cell transplant following his diagnosis with juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia.
The stem cells Jack received from older brother Oliver had ‘engrafted’, meaning they had entered Jack’s bone marrow, enabling him to produce his own white blood cells.
The transplant procedure was brought forward after Jack responded to two rounds of preparatory chemotherapy, negating an original plan for five cycles of treatment.
He was discharged to a nearby apartment and during the week lived with mum Louise.
Stevens – a brilliant right-back in Howard Kendall’s magical mid-1980s Everton team – and the couple’s other sons, Oliver and Josh, would join Jack and Louise at weekends.
This morning Everton said: "Everyone at Everton is deeply saddened to learn that Gary Stevens’ four-year-old son, Jack, has passed away following his courageous battle with leukaemia.
"Our thoughts are with Gary and his family at this incredibly sad time."
Stevens, 59, began his football career with Everton, representing the Toffees for six seasons and making over 200 appearances between 1982-1988.
He then transferred to Glasgow Rangers where he played a part in their treble-winning season in 1993.
After another six-year stint, he returned to Merseyside to finish his career plying his trade for Tranmere Rovers.
Stevens earned 46 caps for England during his playing days before moving into physiotherapy after his retirement.
Tranmere shared Everton's post and issued their own touching message, which read: "The thoughts of everyone at Tranmere Rovers are with Gary Stevens and his family at this sad time."