Hammer Time: Me, West Ham, and a Passion for the Shirt

Julian Dicks

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From the publisher:

'Pulls no punches' The Sun'

'Full of eventful tales from the past' Daily Mail

From West Ham's cult hero, Julian Dicks, a hugely entertaining romp through football and the East End of the Eighties and Nineties. 'Cult figure' is a term hardly used in football these days: where have they all gone? In the sterile and corporate modern game, is there room for the mercurial midfielder or the tough-tackling defender or the pot-bellied goal poacher? Rewind two or three decades and British professional football was stuffed to the gunnels with these 'one-offs': players with bags of talent, yes, but also lorryloads of personality and a hugely relatable quality which meant they'd all be playing Sunday morning park football if they hadn't become professionals. No media training, no filter, no 5% body fat, no cryotherapy chambers, and no quiet nights in with a curly kale salad and a glass of carrot juice.

Meet Julian Dicks. Wonderful name, wonderful player and undoubtedly one of the greatest cult figures to play for West Ham United. Hammer Time is Dicks' hugely entertaining romp through his career with West Ham, shot through with all the great anecdotes of life as a pro back then, and peppered with all the marvellous characters who crossed his path in those halcyon days.

It evokes memories of intimidating away crowds, muddy pitches, no-nonsense tackling, card schools on the bus, big nights out after matches, and the special camaraderie that was forged between players of that era. Hammer Time is also an open love letter to the unique character and atmosphere of West Ham United and East London, conjuring up - with great warmth and nostalgia - a fast disappearing world of strong working-class communities, proper East End boozers and those iconic pie and mash shops.

The author:

Although not an East Ender by birth, Julian Dicks became an honorary 'Iron' courtesy of two memorable spells with West Ham in the Eighties and Nineties. Eleven of his 14 years of professional football were spent with the Hammers: his legacy there embraced 326 appearances and 65 goals, and he was voted 'Hammer of the Year' in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 1997.

Dicks could certainly play, but it was his presence on the field as a snarling, shaven-headed, tough-tackling talisman which endeared him to the West Ham faithful. Affectionately nicknamed 'The Terminator', his unstinting aggression, energy and never-say-die attitude embodied the spirit of the club and the pride of its fans.

Dicks also played for Birmingham City, Liverpool and Canvey Island, served on the coaching staff at West Ham, West Bromwich Albion and Watford, and managed Wivenhoe Town, Grays Athletic, West Ham United Ladies and Heybridge Swifts.


Headline Book Publishing
20 x 13 cm
320 pages
May 2024