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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.
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