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Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Brawl mars Dicks' benefit match
West Ham
West Ham and Bilbao players clash in the "friendly"
It could only happen in a testimonial for Julian 'Terminator' Dicks - a 17-man brawl broke out as tempers flared.

The tough-tackling former West Ham defender, idolised by the Upton Park faithful, was granted a benefit match against Athletic Bilbao to honour his time with the Hammers.

And his "friendly" farewell saw the kind of scenes which punctuated the left-back's career.

Aside from the brawl, Igor Stimac was cautioned for a crashing tackle from behind, and Hammers skipper Paolo Di Canio slapped Spanish players about the face.

Julian Dicks
Dicks played for half-an-hour

To cap it all, referee Barry Knight ordered West Ham manager Harry Redknapp to substitute Di Canio.

And Bilbao coach Txetxu Rojo was told to take off Spanish international striker Joseba Etxeberria, in a bid to defuse the situation.

On the plus side, more than 14,000 fans turned up to pay tribute to Dicks for his 10 years' service - before his career cut short by a knee injury - which gave him a 200,000 pay day.

The ugly scenes, which held up play for more than five minutes, came a minute before the break, and happened when Dicks was not even on the pitch.

They led to Di Canio being reluctantly escorted off the pitch by Redknapp a minute before half-time, and he threw down his captain's armband in disgust.

It had been a tame affair for most of the half, with West Ham playing some attractive football, and Nigel Winterburn and Davor Suker - summer signings from Arsenal - making themselves popular with the home crowd.

  The Terminator
1968: Born Bristol
1986: Joins Birmingham
1988: Transfers to West Ham for 300,000
1992-3: Sent off three times in season
1993: Sold to Liverpool for 1.5m
1994: Returns to West Ham for 1m
1995: Three-game ban for violent conduct
1999: Injury ends career

But trouble flared suddenly after 41 minutes when Winterburn sent Etxeberria crashing into the advertising hoardings just in front of the dug-out.

Bilbao coach Rojo rushed on to the pitch to protest, and Di Canio had shoving matches with four different opponents as players squared up to each other.

Referee Knight spoke to Di Canio and Bilbao skipper Guerrero, asking them to calm down both sets of players.

But three minutes later, Stimac was booked after fouling Urzaiz with a crashing tackle from behind.

This time. a total of 17 players from both sides started pushing and shoving each other, and coaching staff from both teams also argued on the touchline, before stewards and police rushed in to calm things down.

At the end of it, Di Canio and Etxeberria were both substituted, and moments later the half-time whistle blew.

Paulo Di Canio
Di Canio exchanges views with Etxeberria

Dicks - who made 262 League and 53 Cup appearances for the Hammers - made one more when he emerged for the second half to take his place on the left of three centre backs.

But within two minutes of his arrival the Spaniards took the lead, as Urzaiz nodded in a corner from the right.

West Ham equalised after 69 minutes when Trevor Sinclair sent over a free-kick from the left and substitute Paul Kitson headed home.

Dicks completed half-an-hour before being substituted after 75 minutes, earning the biggest cheer of the afternoon as he left the pitch.

But West Ham conceded a carbon copy goal just two minutes before the end, when Yeste rose unchallenged to head in another right wing corner for a 2-1 Bilbao win.

West Ham were without six injured players - Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand Stuart Pearce, Steve Lomas, Joe Cole and Ian Pearce.

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