HERMON "DICKY" PADDON
Picture below courtesy of Keith Sanders Slough
HERMON “DICKY” PADDON
Hermon Lawrence Paddon was born in Kingsteignton in 1889, the son of Richard and Sarah Paddon (nee Eames). His father was a driver of a pumping engine on the Great Western Railway at Newton Abbot. This was a time when the GWR was still operating on the broad gauge system.
Hermon was brought up at Butts Cottages, now long since demolished, and later moved to Fore Street where his mother ran a shop selling cakes and pies. The shop is still there but now occupied by a hairdresser. The wares his mother sold may well explain why Hermon Paddon was always known as “Dicky Dumpling”, later shortened to simply ‘Dump’.
As a youngster he took up the oval ball game and turned out for the village rugby club.
His kicking talent was quickly spotted by neighbours Newton Abbot RFC who recruited him and played him at full back before converting him to centre three-quarter.
In 1907, he played for Newton against Kingsteignton in a match that was described as fast and furious with keen tackling. Paddon drop-kicked a goal early on for Newton to take the lead .The match report states “blows were exchanged but went undetected. In some robust clearance work one of each side was laid out” It goes on to say that “in ensuing play one of each side was ordered off!” Kingsteignton proved the eventual winners scoring a drop goal and a penalty.
By 1909, Paddon had forced himself into the Devon county team where he and George Prudence of Newton formed the centre three quarter partnership with Newton team mates Percy Hodge and Squires making up the half back pairing.
It was whilst playing for Devon that the talent scouts of the then mighty Rochdale Hornets of the Northern Union professional game enticed him to abandon the amateur code and move north to get paid for playing. Although he was now a professional, Hornets also fitted him up with a job as a coach trimmer with the local railway company. When he joined the Royal Artillery in 1917 he was serving in the local police force.
"Dicky" Paddon proved a great favourite with the people of Rochdale and enjoyed a career that spanned from 1909 to 1926 with a break for the war and regularly played in front of crowds of 40,000.
In 1912, his former Newton team mate George Prudence followed him north to play for the Hornets.
Paddon’s trademark pinpoint kicking saw him kick 309 goals for Rochdale in a distinguished career that saw Rochdale win the Lancashire County Cup in 1911, 1914, and 1919. He kicked nine goals in the Hornets biggest ever win against a senior club when they beat Wakefield Trinity 64 nil in 1920. Perhaps the most important goals he scored were in the Northern Union Challenge Cup Final in 1922 when he kicked two goals at
Headingley to help secure a 10-9 win for the Hornets over their Yorkshire rivals Hull FC. In addition to his goal kicking, one must not forget the 27 tries he scored for Rochdale.
After he retired from playing, he moved back to Devon to live in Newton Abbot where he took on the licence of the Swan Inn in Highweek Street. He died in 1958 and is buried in Highweek churchyard.
submitted by Steve Harris