Author Topic: Dickie Walker  (Read 1598 times)

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Offline Mike Baines

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Dickie Walker
« on: 10 August, 2008, 10:49:34 AM »
Anyone who saw the Hammers in the immediate post wars years cannot have forgotten Dickie Walker.  Larger than life, he looked enormous to us kids.  He must have weighed 15 stone or more and with Ernie Gregory made up the largest defence in the Football League.

Born in Hackney in 1913 Dickie signed for the Hammers in 1934 from Park Royal.  He made his debut in August 1934 as a stand-in for the great 'Big' Jim Barrett.  By 1936/7 season he was the regular choice and remained so until 1950/1.  He made his last appearance for the Hammers in the 1952/3 season.  Later coached younger players.  Died in 1988.

Apart from his size Dickie was a real character.  His own quote that he couldn't play but could stop others who could sums him up.

My own memories of the man include an incident when Ernie Gregory took a fly kick to clear the ball only for it to hit Dickie on the back of the head, laying our hero out.  The ball bounced to an opponent who promptly netted.  Those of us in the Chicken Run could hear Mr Walker's comments as he recovered.  He questioned Ernie's parentage and intelligence in rather forceful language which included a lot of naughty words.

Another memory is of a BBC Radio broadcast on the eve of the Third Round of the F.A.Cup.  All the captains of the London clubs involved were invited into the studio to discuss their games.  At the end each captain was asked if his team had a lucky omen.  Some talked of particular players always putting on one boot first, others talked of certain players wanting to walk out last etc.  When it came to Dickie's turn he explained that if the Hammers went in at half time five goals up they thought they might win the match.

Dickie made a total of 292 League appearances (2 goals) and 19 F.A. Cup appearances.
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Offline Mike Baines

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Re: Dickie Walker
« Reply #1 on: 23 August, 2008, 11:12:40 AM »
No response re the former club captain.

Was it because of 'naughty language'?
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Offline Leslie

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Re: Dickie Walker
« Reply #2 on: 23 August, 2008, 01:37:38 PM »
What a blast from the past, I have just finished refub a garden ornament, a rotund figure of a footballer holding a ball. Done in the colors of whufc for my big brother Roy, A stroke has left him unable to walk, but he still manages to get to Upton Park at home matches, and we have nicknamed him Dickie Walker. Dickie, with two other players used to love a pint in the snug bar of the Boleyn two hours before kick off time, and he swore black/blue that it always made him play better. He would just stick his big Bum out and that would stop most centre forwards, AS you have said, not the best of footballers but a great stopper & a wonderful character,