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The Julian Dicks Column: 13th September

Filed: Thursday, 13th September 2012
By: Julian Dicks

It's with great pleasure that we welcome West Ham United FC legend Julian Dicks to KUMB.com. Julian will be sharing his thoughts with us on a regular basis via his KUMB column, the latest of which begins with his reaction to yesterday's publication of the Hillsborough report...

As a former Liverpool player, I was delighted by the findings of the Hillsborough report this week. What happened there was an absolute disgrace and I hope that prosecutions follow for those responsible. Someone needs to be held accountable whether that be the police, the media or everyone who was involved.

I moved from West Ham to Liverpool just four years after the tragedy occured; I still remember watching it unfold live on TV. What they did to those families for 23 years - several of whom I met during my year at the club - was terrible. I just hope the people responsible are finally brought to justice themselves.

Going back to my (grass) roots

I didn't even watch the England games this week - I don't really watch too much international football - but you'd expect them to beat Moldova. And although a draw against Ukraine wasn't the worst result in the world, you would expect them to be beating teams like that.

Roy Hodgson is a good manager with lots of experience even though Harry Redknapp was the people's choice for the job. Roy's a safety-first manager as was shown by the European Championships but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

As far as watching live football is concerned, I tend not to watch too much Premier League football these days as I find it to be a bit of a circus. I prefer instead to watch more non-league football where it's a bit more real with not so much diving and falling over!

These days I often go to watch Braintree Town, who are managed by [former West Ham United and England winger] Alan Devonshire, whose assistant is my old team-mate Keith Rowland. I've also popped down to watch Chelmsford City and Southend from time to time.

Towards the end of my playing career I spent a brief spell in non-league football at Canvey Island, playing 15 games for them. We beat Wigan 1-0 in the FA Cup before losing to Burnley and I enjoyed my time there. Jeff King (the manager) put a lot of money into the club but it was unsustainable as they just didn't have the crowds, which was a shame.

Looking back: The truth about England

Back in 1996, Julian was a popular choice for England's left back spot in the European Championships. However he never made the 22-man squad - or a single full international appearance - after a disagreement with England's assistant manager John Gorman.

Glenn Hoddle's number two later denied that a conversation between the two ever took place - something that Julian is happy to set the record straight on...

At West Ham, Harry Redknapp used to take us on a break every summer and I met John Gorman during an end-of-season tour in Spain. We were all drinking in a bar and John and I bumped into each other. We were having a chat and he told me that I'd never play for England unless I grew my hair - and I told him to f*ck off.

It was ridiculous. I mean, Ian Wright had a shaved head! I won't name names but they were happy to pick alcoholics and wife-beaters - but not me, despite the public wanting me to play, because of my hair.

I never spoke to Glenn Hoddle at the time - I think he was still upset after the John Spencer incident [the year before] - but I'd never have played for him even if they had picked me afterwards; I was more interested in my dogs at that time anyway. I don't know why he [Gorman] denied that that conversation took place, but it definitely did.

I played for England under 21s five or six times, including a tournament in Toulon and also three times for England B whilst I was at West Ham. Don't get me wrong, of course I wanted to play for my country - everyone does, whether you're English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish or whatever. But it just wasn't to be.

Julian Dicks was talking to Graeme Howlett.

* Julian is currently available to coach both junior and senior football teams. For more details, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JULIAN3DICKS.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by Damien
07:57PM 13th Sep 2012
''This isn't accurate. Terry Venables was the manager at Euro 96 and I distinctly remember the newspaper stories being that "he told Venables to stick it". But in this interview even Julian says it was John, defo can't have been Euro
96 though...

Any ideas?''

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