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Sport » Soccer » General

West Ham Legend For Europro Tour

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By Kevin Reardon / 2006-02-12 12:28:54

Julian watching at Horadada

It was a close run thing between Frank Lampard (senior) and Julian Dicks for the honour of being West Ham's finest-ever left back - but Dicks, who had two separate spells at the club he joined from Birmingham City for £300,000 in March 1988, certainly had much the better left foot. Unfortunately Dicks was forced into retirement in 1999, well ahead of his time, after a 15 year career with West Ham, Liverpool and Birmingham City. He was just 30 years of age. The cruciate injury had been a constant hindrance and something that he’d suffered with for the majority of his ‘all too short’ career.

“I can remember playing football from 3 or 4 years of age? Dicks told The Leader. “My dad was a semi pro and football is all I’ve ever really known since my childhood. I used to play twice on a Saturday and twice on a Sunday. That’s all I lived for?.

Dicks moved from his home in Bristol to Birmingham City where at 14 years of age he was put into local digs. Birmingham at that time were managed by Ron Saunders.

“I worked my way up through the youth and reserve system and then in 1985 I made my debut against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We were beaten by 2-0 but the day was an absolute delight?.
 
In 1998 Dicks moved from the ‘Blues’ to West Ham United by John Lyall for a fee of ₤300,000. He remained with the Hammers playing almost 200 games over a six year period. “They were the happiest playing days of my life. I won ‘player of the season’ on two occasions and I captained the team to promotion then, in 1994 Liverpool manager Graeme Souness bought me for ₤1,500,000 in a swap deal that saw David Burrows and Mike Marsh move the other way?.

Unfortunately the move didn't work out and Dicks moved back to West Ham after just one season at Liverpool. He did have the honour of being the last Liverpool player to score in front of the standing Spion Kop however, in 1993.

After a further 3 good seasons with the Hammers Dicks succumbed to injury once again. In 97/98 he had a full season out. He did return to the West Ham lineup for a brief spell the following year but injury finally forced him to retire in 1999.

As a footballer Dicks had a good deal of spare time on his hands much of which was spent pursuing his second love of golf. And it was toward this activity that he now turned quickly obtaining a place on the Euro Pro tour. Unfortunately the knee flared up again and unable to walk 18 holes, a distinct disadvantage for a golf professional, he gave up his golfing ambitions after just 5 pro events.

Julian Dicks now lives at Las Ramblas and with his knee on the mend, even though he is 37 years of age, he intends once again to pursue his golfing dream.

“I’m still a good golfer and I feel certain that with hard work and lots of practise I could get myself back on tour, but in the meantime I’m going to do a bit of football coaching with the Charlton European Soccer School. I have my coaching badges; Dave Greene and Kenny Brown are keen to have me on board. All that we are waiting for is clearance from the relevant authorities and I will be down at the Pilar coaching centre like a shot?. Now well beyond the ‘hard man’ image he earned as a player I leave Julian chuckling as he is reminded of the now infamous ‘Metro Radio’  commentary during his days at Liverpool.

"Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got 11 Dicks on the field".




Julian watching at Horadada

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