Julian Dicks reveals dressing room punch ups… and much more


West Ham legend Julian Dicks believes the modern game is too soft

Julian Dicks has paid tribute to the old days of football when the game had  a ‘rough edge’.

He’s reveales for example how Harry Redknapp threw a plate of sandwiches against the wall out of anger and adds insights to the punch-ups he witnessed at training.

West Ham’s  legend reveals all in a book coming out next week – Hammer Time: Me, West Ham And A Passion For The Shirt.

The former West Ham player was disruptive in the changing rooms and never got on with his managers. He even squared up to his England youth team boss Dave Sexton before booting a bucket across the dugout.

Dicks – who was known for throwing his body on the line and clattering into tackles – says he preferred football that way. He even said John Hartson was within his rights to kick Eyal Berkovic in the head during training in 1998.

Dicks went on to reveal how he once ran through a hotel corridor naked after Gazza pulled a prank on him during international duty and admitted to cutting his cast off his leg so he could go out clubbing.

Speaking to The Sun ahead of the book’s release, Dicks said: ‘When I played it was the best time. We could go out, we could drink, we had fun‘, before diving into the details.

Dicks started by talking about his trip to Toulon, France, with the U21 England team. He said no one would share a room with Gascoigne so he offered. However, he instantly regretted his decision.

He said: ‘No one put their hand up and I went, “Yeah, I’ll share with him”. F***ing wrong decision. He put about 20 firecrackers around the rim of the toilet and they started going off and I thought it was a bomb.

‘I’m naked and I am running down the corridor and he’s just stood in the door, laughing his head off.

‘It was funny, although it wasn’t at the time because I was standing in front of Dave Sexton and other people.’

Dicks went on to discuss West Ham’s pre-season tour to Australia – claiming he asked the team doctor to cut his cast off with a carving knife after he was denied entry to a nightclub because of the plaster.

He said: ‘I went all the way back to the hotel and got the club doctor to cut it off with a carving knife so I could get in the nightclub. From what I can remember it was a good night.’

Dicks also recalled how Redknapp lost his temper after being offered salmon sandwiches following their 4-0 defeat to Southampton.

Dicks said: ‘We came in, we’d got beat 4-0 by Southampton. Don Hutchison went, “Who wants salmon sandwiches after a game of football?”. Harry went, “F***ing salmon sandwiches”, and he just lugged them at the wall.

‘The managers back then threw pots of tea, cups of tea, stuff like that. It was a common thing. These days you’d probably lose your job for that. But if you lose 4-0 you should be able to b*****k the players and they should be man enough to take it.

He went on to discuss Hartson’s bust-up with Berkovic in 1998 before reflecting on the state of the game today. He feels the passion is gone and says players are being booked for weak challenges in the modern game.

He said: ‘I remember playing against the Crazy Gang (Wimbledon FC) and we had a 21-man brawl.’ It’s a passionate game. A lot of the passion has gone out of the game. Now you can get booked for using too much force. To me, that’s the biggest load of b*****ks in the world.’

Dicks book ‘Hammer Time: Me, West Ham And A Passion For The Shirt’ will be published on Thursday, June 8.

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