JULIAN Dicks has returned to Heybridge Swifts for a third spell as manager.

The West Ham United legend replaces Steve Tilson, who resigned from his position in charge at the Pitching In Isthmian League division north side last week, after nearly three years in the hot seat.

Dicks is a firm favourite at Heybridge, with his achievements at Scraley Road legendary.


His coaching methods prevented the club dropping into the Essex Senior League and he then took them to the brink of promotion to the Isthmian Premier in May 2019.

The team Dicks brought together won the North Division play-off final at Maldon and Tiptree but were denied promotion by the points-per-game rule dreamed up by the FA boffins as a solution to too many play-off winners for too few restructured leagues.

Dicks left Heybridge in the summer of 2019 to link up with his former West Ham team-mate Slaven Bilic, at West Bromwich Albion.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

But he returned to Swifts for a second spell in March 2021 but resigned in September that year, following five straight defeats.

Having begun his playing career with Birmingham City, the Bristol-born left-back went onto become a legend at West Ham United.

Across two spells with the Hammers, Dicks made close to 300 appearances.

Dicks, who also represented the England under-21s and England B at international level, also featured for Liverpool before hanging up his boots at Canvey Island.

Managerial spells at the likes of Wivenhoe Town and Grays Athletic have followed, while Dicks also spent a season in charge of West Ham United Ladies before being recruited as first-team coach when Slaven Bilic was named manager of the Premier League club.

Along with Bilic, Dicks left his position in November 2017, leading to him taking over at Swifts, the following year.