Player Profile: Julian Dicks

Like a schoolboy who forgot his PE kit, Julian Dicks appears in this picture to be wearing his pants and an ill-fitting loaned t-shirt, not that you’d tell him this to his face though.

Nicknamed ‘The Terminator’ by the Hammers faithful, Dicks was a fearless and uncompromising tackler to put it lightly and no one ever dared to make fun of his surname.

Best remembered for his two spells with West Ham, Dicks started his career with Birmingham City in 1985, before moving to West Ham for £300k in 1988. His stay at Upton Park was punctuated by a largely unsuccessful year at Anfield during the 1993/94 season.

It seemed to be that Dicks prided himself on hurting the opposition as his career was strewn with bookings and dismissals. Despite this he was treated with great affection by fans and became a cult figure at Upton Park, so much so that he was voted West Ham’s player of the year four times between 1990 and 1997.

His hardman approach to the game was not always welcomed though and he was often accused of thug tactics on the pitch, a sentiment which was echoed by former Hammers boss Billy Bonds, who during the 92/932 season stripped Dicks of the captaincy after he was shown red three times during that campaign.

A recurring knee injury forced him to retire early from professional football in 1999 at the age of 31, but Dicks refused to bow out gracefully and he continued to court controversy, even when no directly involved in the action.

In August 2000 a benefit match was held in his honour against Athletic Bilbao for his services to the club, and in true Terminator fashion and possibly as a sign of respect, the game was marred by a 17 man brawl, despite Dicks not even being on the pitch at the time.

He briefly made a return to football with Canvey Island in 2001, but could only manage four appearances for the club.

Like many former footballers Dicks seemed to struggle to fill the void left by the game after his retirement. He attempted a career as a professional golfer, but his recurring knee injury put pay to this dream. He reportedly went on to run the Shepherd & Dog public house in Langham, Essex, before moving to sunny Spain.

He finally returned to football this season, after an absence of ten years, to manage Eastern Counties League side Wivenhoe Town.

Despite his lofty reputation amongst Hammers fans, Dicks failed to earn a full England cap. He was capped twice internationally at B level and made 379 career appearances and scored 55 goals, including an impressive haul of 10 in the 1995/96 season. How many wingers he booted into the crowd remains unclear though.

Tags: Julian Dicks, West Ham United

Share this article

Rene Higuita advertising Frutino BBC Review of World Cup Italia '90
Phoenix From The Flames with Alan Hansen 808 State - Pacific (TOTP 1989)