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Sat, Jul

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SHAKA HISLOP joined West Ham on a free transfer yesterday, then hit out at Newcastle for ditching him over a contract wrangle.

The 6ft 4in goalkeeper was dropped by Kenny Dalglish the same day in February that he was chosen for the England squad after stalling on a new deal.

Now West Ham have signed him up for four years under the Bosman ruling.

Hislop, 29, said: "Newcastle's decision to leave me out wasn't simply about my performance on the pitch.

"It is ironic they dropped me for the match against West Ham, then I was chosen for England. We didn't see eye-to- eye after that. When I heard West Ham were interested, I had no hesitation in coming.

"They have the same type of fanatical fans you get at Newcastle. They make every home game a real event.

"I don't feel it is a step down to come to West Ham. They have some tremendous young players and they just missed Europe last season."

With Bernard Lama gone, Hislop should be number one.

West Ham announced another signing yesterday - a 3 million pounds three-year sponsorship deal with Dr Martens.