EXCLUSIVE: West Ham cult hero Julian Dicks claims Gazza scuppered his chances of an England cap

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Football hardman Julian Dicks has claimed he failed to gain a senior England cap due to Gazza ‘tarnishing’ his reputation.

The former West Ham captain, who played more than 250 times for the Premier League club, also revealed he would regularly down whisky before a match and once burned a team-mate’s bottom with a hot iron.

Dicks, who also starred for Liverpool and Birmingham during an 11-year top flight career, said after he was called up to play for England Inder 21s at a tournament in Toulon, he was made to room with Paul Gascoigne, who on Thursday gave Prince William a kiss.

Dicks disclosed in his new biography ‘Hammer Time’: ‘The only problem with him as a room-mate was that he just did not sleep, which really didn’t bode well in terms of me getting any rest.

‘And when he didn’t sleep, he also had to keep himself entertained. There was one day when I looked up to see him leaning out of the window in our room…holding a tube of toothpaste, squirting it at whoever was passing below.

Julian Dicks claimed he did not get a senior England cap due to Gazza tarnishing his reputation

Julian Dicks claimed he did not get a senior England cap due to Gazza tarnishing his reputation

The former West Ham captain played more than 250 times for the Premier League club

The former West Ham captain played more than 250 times for the Premier League club

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And he opened up on the antics of iconic former midfielder Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne (centre)

And he opened up on the antics of iconic former midfielder Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne (centre)

Dicks he added that Gascoigne is 'the most brilliant bloke' and they got on very well together

Dicks he added that Gascoigne is ‘the most brilliant bloke’ and they got on very well together

‘Even if I did manage to fall asleep, with Gazza as a room-mate there were no guarantees I would be I would be allowed to remain dozing. One night when I was enjoying my kip, I didn’t know it but Gazza was busy preparing a little show for me.

‘The crazy Geordie had bought loads of firecrackers and had carefully lined them up around the rim of the toilet, before lighting them all.

‘You cannot imagine how loud the noise was that woke me up. I absolutely s*** myself, sprang out of bed, ran straight out of the room and into the hotel corridor, without a stitch of clothing on, with my hands covering my privates.

‘I was convinced a bomb had gone off, until I saw Gazza emerge from the room laughing his head off.’

He said within minutes the hallway was full of players and England management.

‘I was standing in the middle of the corridor, totally naked, with my hands protecting my modesty. What a sight that must have been. Once again, Gazza got away with it, as I ended up taking most of the blame for it.

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‘I actually think there was a good chance that episode contributed to the dim view that was taken of me by the England management in years to come, helping to tarnish my reputation which meant I never received a full England cap, or call up.’

Despite his dim view of Gazza’s antics, Dicks describes him as ‘the most brilliant bloke, incredible fun to be with, always laughing… there is nothing he wouldn’t do for you.

Gascoigne (left) gave Prince William (right) a kiss when they met in a shop on Thursday

Gascoigne (left) gave Prince William (right) a kiss when they met in a shop on Thursday

Dicks also revealed he would regularly down whisky before a match and once burned a team-mate's bottom with a hot iron.

Dicks also revealed he would regularly down whisky before a match and once burned a team-mate’s bottom with a hot iron.

His last job was as manager of Essex team Heybridge Swifts, which he gave up in 2021

His last job was as manager of Essex team Heybridge Swifts, which he gave up in 2021

'Hammer Time' by JUlian Dicks, published by Headline

‘Hammer Time’ by JUlian Dicks, published by Headline

‘He would give you his last fiver if you needed it. And he obviously loved a drink so we got on very well’.

Dicks, who became popular at West Ham for his tough-tackling and fearsome penalty taking, revealed he would drink Jack Daniels and Coke in his hotel room on the night before games, would abhor having to warm up pre-kick off and hated running with his team mates.

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His preferred choice of warming up minutes before kick-off was to soak in the bath, down Coca-Cola and chomp on Mars bars.

He also decried the innovation of multi-cameras from every angle focussing on matches which mean every illicit move is captured, revealing he got away with deliberately elbowing Everton’s Trevor Steven and other misdemeanours which today can result in retrospective action with officials being helped by eagle-eyed VAR.

But as well as being fierce on the pitch, Dicks reveals he was also prone to injuring team-mates while attempting pranks.

On the night before an away match with Hull, he picked up a hot iron in the team hotel and left his mark on the buttocks of his team mate Mark Ward because he wouldn’t share the TV remote control.

Ward returned the compliment by smearing chocolate under Dicks’ duvet which led to him waking up thinking he had soiled himself, he said.

Dicks, who is 55 and now a grandfather, managed West Ham women’s team between 2014 and 2015 and his last job was as manager of Essex team Heybridge Swifts, which he gave up in 2021.

‘Hammer Time’ by Julian Dicks, published by Headline

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