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Graham Paddon

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Taken from the Telegraph

FA Cup winner Graham Paddon dies

Graham Paddon, who died suddenly at home in Norfolk yesterday aged 57, made 290 League appearances in two spells for Norwich City, yet he achieved his greatest period of success during three years sandwiched in between with West Ham.

When he arrived in December 1973 in the deal that took Ted MacDougall in the opposite direction, West Ham were in serious relegation trouble; by the time he rejoined Norwich in November 1976, he had an FA Cup winner's medal and had played in a European Cup-Winners' Cup final.

Paddon played in a midfield that included Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking, and latterly Alan Curbishley, the current manager. Paddon, the man with the fair hair and the trademark 1970s moustache, was by no means overawed or outshone by the more illustrious names around him. Indeed he was an important part in the jigsaw that Ron Greenwood and John Lyall put together after the glory days of the mid-Sixties.

Having helped West Ham keep their place in the old First Division in his first season there, he ended his second at Wembley. Indeed, it was his shot that Peter Mellor, the Fulham goalkeeper, spilled, allowing Alan Taylor to nip in and score his second goal in West Ham's 2-0 victory.

The following season Paddon would score the important away goal, a stunning 30-yard drive, in the first leg of the semi-final in the Cup-Winners' Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt that enabled West Ham to return home under the Upton Park lights just 2-1 in arrears. On a famous night, Brooking scored twice as West Ham went through to the final 4-3 on aggregate. He was also part of the team who twice equalised in the final against Anderlecht in the Heysel Stadium, but ultimately lost 4-2.

Curbishley said yesterday: "Graham was one of the nicest people you could meet. He was a terrific player and every West Ham fan will remember his cultured left foot." Curbishley's assistant, Mervyn Day, who played in goal in both finals, added: "I'll remember his dynamism, the balance he brought to the side but, above all else, the ferocity of his left foot in shooting practice."

Paddon, Manchester-born, had joined Norwich from Coventry City, where he started his career. He played in Norwich's promotion-winning team in 1972, and was in the side beaten by Tottenham in the following year's League Cup final.

In his post-playing days he was assistant manager at both Portsmouth and Stoke, as well as acting as a scout for Derby, Liverpool and Leicester. He leaves a wife, Sandra, and three children.

1975: Graham Paddon ® receives an award with Trevor Brooking at Upton Park in his West Ham days

R.I.P Fella :(

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Guest Doomer17

not going to pretend i knew who he was, because i didn't.. But he sounds like he was a really nice guy, and a great footballer. Always sad to hear of these things.

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