MAD KEANE HAMMERED ME BECAUSE I REFUSED TO SAVE HIS BUTT; JULIAN DICKS.
Julian Dicks has revealed a bitter bust-up with Roy Keane as West Ham's clash of wills with Manchester United enters its next round today.
And Dicks has told how he was called "a f***ing liar" by Hammers boss Harry Redknapp in a training ground confrontation over his tussle with former Chelsea ace John Spencer.
Dicks became involved in a feud with Sky TV pundit Andy Gray after incidents in West Ham's clashes with Manchester United and Chelsea last season.
Gray and the Sky cameras return to east London today for another high- octane date with United, and Dicks has revealed his anger to SUPER SPORT over last season's battle.
United's Nicky Butt was sent off at Upton Park last January for a foul on Dicks - but it was Dicks who took the full blast of Gray's criticism for a challenge on Andy Cole.
Dicks now says: "Keane had a pop at me, saying I should have defended Butt and told the ref not to have sent him off.
"I said - what, like you would have done for me? I wouldn't mind, but it was as if I'd rolled over and played dead. But I just got up and walked away. People take all sorts of liberties with me, but when I'm clattered I don't roll around as if I'm dying."
Gray claimed the challenge could have smashed Cole's leg. Referee Stephen Lodge ruled there was no foul.
And Dicks says: "Andy Gray seems to be making a career out of having a go at me. I got the rollocking in the papers but Nicky Butt got off scot-free.
"The people who saw the game will have seen that it was a genuine attempt to win the ball. But people who don't go to games will have assumed, oh, he's at it again. People like to jump to the same old conclusions. Some people have tried to portray me as somebody who just goes out and tries to snap opponents in two.
"The fact that I am Julian Dicks, a player with a certain reputation, seems to make me an easy target. Other incidents occur and they've replayed them only a couple of times.
"But when it's me it gets shown hundreds of times."
Dicks' massive soccer crime-sheet had earned him a reputation as the Hammer from Hell before his first run-in with Gray last autumn.
But even he wasn't prepared for the fury after John Spencer needed eight stitches in his head during the match against Chelsea and Gray accused Dicks of deliberately stamping.
The incident eventually earned Dicks a three-match FA ban, although he still protests his innocence and even Spencer said it was an accident.
It even led to doubts about Dicks' innocence in the Hammers dug-out and a confrontation in training.
Dicks reveals: "Redknapp came out and asked - did you mean it? "I told him I hadn't and he said - You f***ing liar!
"I said, Harry, I swear on my kids' lives, I didn't mean it. It was only when I did that, that he believed me."
Dicks sought a showdown with Gray after the United game. He says: "I got my agent to arrange a meeting at an hotel or somewhere I could chat with him without the press around, to find out what he had against me."
It's claimed Gray said no, but invited Dicks to a TV interview. Dicks says: "He wanted me to go on his chat show but he wouldn't meet me one- to-one. I wouldn't go on because he's experienced at talking on TV and I'm not. If I met him in private, I could tell him he's a liar if I wanted."
Dicks recalls the 1-0 defeat of Manchester United at Upton Park which cost Alex Ferguson the title. He says: "When clubs like United come to Upton Park expecting to win, it makes the lads even more determined to get a result."
That was the famed occasion when Fergie called West Ham's effort "obscene." And Dicks acknowledges those Hammers didn't always give it their all.
"I never needed geeing-up. I used to get fired up for under-nine matches on Saturday mornings - but all players are different." I LED BONZO A DOG'S LIFE! BILLY BONDS and wife Kay bore the brunt of the worst spell of Julian Dicks' career before his pounds 2 million move to Liverpool in 1993. Dicks is now hailed by current West Ham boss Harry Redknapp as a changed man - and he recently went 26 matches without being booked. But he had a succession of fiery clashes with Hammers hero Bonds as he was hit by a string of controversial red cards and his life went haywire. And he hit the booze. Dicks remembers: "I was a right bastard with Billy Bonds the whole time he managed West Ham. I used to argue with him a lot and walk off the training pitch. To be honest, I couldn't really give a toss about anything." Bonds confirms: "His attitude stunk. " Dicks recalls one training ground flare-up when he claimed a foul. "I said: 'That's a f***ing foul'. And Billy said: 'Bollocks'. "So we're effing and blinding at each other for 30 seconds and I've gone: 'F*** off!' and gone home. Alvin Martin told me not to worry but I said: 'Bollocks, I've had enough'." Dicks and Bonds also had a heated bust-up in a dressing room at Coventry. Redknapp, who signed Dicks back from Liverpool in 1995, is delighted by his recent transformation. But he remembers: "It was just his attitude. If the ball went for a throw-in during training, he'd say it was his ball and want to have a row with everyone. "If you told the players to report wearing a shirt and tie, he'd say: 'Why can't I wear a f***ing tracksuit'. If you said wear tracksuits he'd say: 'Why can't I wear a f***ing tie?'. "He'd become so powerful he was like a law unto himself. I'd never come across anybody like him. He was a bad influence on the team." Dicks say he now respects Bonds and hopes its mutual. And he remembers Bonzo's confrontations with other players. Dicks says: "Billy's offered people out. He offered out Leroy Rosenior once in training. "Leroy went over the top on one of the kids and Bill said: 'Do that again and I'll knock you out'. He also had a go at Jimmy Quinn, who offered him out." Bonds says now: "We had our run-ins but on the pitch he always gave me 110 per cent. There were times we could have come to blows. I'd have loved to have chinned him a couple of times and I'm sure he'd have loved to have chinned me." Dicks' wife Kay saw the change in his personality after he returned from his 18-month injury battle. She says: "He started getting cocky and developing a bad attitude. "He had an ego bigger than a double-decker bus. "We used to have terrible rows about the way he was, but he couldn't see it because he was like a God down at the club." He began to get plastered in pubs near his Essex home. Dicks said: "If we'd lost I'd go out and get pissed out of my head. I'd just go straight to the pub. I wouldn't say I was drinking heavily as such, just getting hammered after games." Dicks has also reveals the story of a late night booze-up in Italy the night before an Anglo-Italian Cup game against Cremonese. "Two senior players and myself had a game of spoof in our room the night before the game. "We got absolutely bollocksed. We finished about three in the morning and one of them opened the door to leave and went smack, straight on to his face. "He was out of it. We picked him up, took him into his room and he was really ill. He got really hammered in the game next day." ...and Mac took some strife OLD TRAFFORD hero Lou Macari got the full Dicksy treatment after he became Hammers boss. Dicks had no fears at all about crunching the boss in training. Dicks recalls: "We used to have five-a-sides in the gym and he'd always be on the opposite side.I u sed to kick s*** out of him, really hammer him. But he always used to come back for more. One day I thought he'd broken his leg. It was a 50/50 challenge - I didn't go over the top or anything - but I just went straight through him and he was left on the floor. He couldn't finish training." Fellow Hammer Ian Bishop said: "It was a bit ofa sh ock when I first arrived seeing somebody booting the manager up in the air." Macari - angry at what he believed was the sloppy attitude of some senior pros - called Dicks "a fat bastard" on his very first day in training, then asked him to go to a health farm. "I said bollocks - and didn't turn up for the coach," says Dicks.
Stoke boss Macari - who rates Dicks 'the finest striker of a ball I've ever seen' - says: "I just want him to know that I'm waiting for another chance, even though I'm 46, to get back in the gym with him so I can kick him." The wicked side of dressing-room humour has also been revealed by Dicks. Hammers' players played a cruel practical joke on striker Trevor Morley after he was stabbed in a domestic incident with his wife. Dicks recalls: "The physio John Green has a skeleton in his room at the training ground. Trevor walked in there one day and found all these knives stuck in it. He wasn't too happy about it at the time, but he laughed about it later."
NEXT WEEK: THE CROWN JULES 'Terminator' by Kirk Blows will be published soon by Polar Print Group (Tel: 0116 - 2610800) and will be available in all good bookstores and outlets. Price pounds 9.99
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 8, 1996|
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