A few months back I wrote an article for NTV about just a few of the ugly and talentless hordes who played for Rangers during their existence. I hope that the earlier piece didn’t bring back too many bad memories for the nervous and squeamish amongst you but now it is time to confront a truly disturbing memory. One that will shake you and possibly make you vomit. I refer to Terry ‘Warlock’ Hurlock.
Hurlock acquired his nickname during his time at Millwall- then a club on the fringes of the top division with a reputation off the park for crowd trouble and on it for being a downmarket version of the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon FC.
I have never learned definitively the reason why Hurlock was given the name though I assume it was because of his astonishing resemblance to the scuzzy, unwashed, spaced-out mate of Neil the Hippy in eighties sitcom The Young Ones. There was though little of peace and love about Hurlock as he was very much in the ignoble tradition of the club he joined in September 1990 in that he possessed a really nasty streak that took him beyond being just a hardman – he was a beyond the pale villain in the traditions of Gregor Stevens, Iain Ferguson and the man who signed him, Graeme Souness
Billed on the day he signed by the BBC Scottish news as an “England International” the reality was that Hurlock had played three B Internationals in a club career that had taken in spells at Brentford and Reading as well at the Den. He was hardly a household name but he was presented as the heir to his then new boss’s role as a midfield hatchet man. Souness was a vicious, nasty player but he was also quite a talented (if somewhat overrated) one- but few of even the brown nosers of the Scottish media tried to present Hurlock as being any sort of footballer.
Coming into a Rangers side that was very much in the ascendant in Scotland – although heading for an hilarious trouncing by Red Star Belgrade – Hurlock certainly made his mark with his new club. Mainly, it must be said, on the limbs of whichever opponent he could catch as he racked up a record number of bookings for a Scottish season as well as a sending off at Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup match when Rangers ended with 8 players on the field.
Hurlock was an ugly, unhinged human being, one of the most malevolent ever Rangers players [which is saying something] as well as looking like one of the dirtiest. I don‘t just mean that he was a less than wholly sporting player who regularly fouled opponents but that he looked unwashed. The kind of person you wouldn’t have wanted marking you not just because he’d have fouled you repeatedly but because you would have had to burn your strip afterwards because it would have been contaminated with God-knows-what kind of beasties.
Hurlock left Rangers not much more than a year after he joined and few, including most Rangers’ fans I knew, were sorry to see the back of him. When his name crops up Hurlock is usually recalled as having being one of the hardest players ever to play in Britain, one fondly remembered by all time Celtic dud Tony Cascarino for an occasion when he ripped the hinges off a pub door when asked what he was going to do to Vinny Jones in a forthcoming match . The incident proving , if nothing else, that he was indeed unhinged.
And yet I remember a strange, and I must stress unsubstantiated, story that during half time in a typically fierce Celtic versus Rangers matched he crapped out of a fight with Celtic’s Anton Rogan. I always liked to believe that rumour because I’ve always had an intense dislike for the celebration of these old style Cocke-er-nee sub Kray Twin ’diamond geezer’ hard cases Hurlock epitomised.
His career petered out not long after he left Rangers and other than amongst Millwall fans he is a largely forgotten figure. Me? I just wonder if he’s washed his hair since he retired and hope he never reads this article.