Norwich City top 100 appearances: Graham Paddon (18)
18 Graham Paddon
340 appearances/37 goals
Graham Paddon was the possessor of a magnificent left foot – and it was packed with power.
As one-time team-mate Duncan Forbes once said: “He didn’t need to get very far over the halfway line before he looked up and unleashed a shot at goal. It was superb.”
But Paddon wasn’t a one-trick pony: he was an exceptional footballer. The left foot was merely the tool he used to devastating effect – as well as an extraordinarily long throw-in of which City took full advantage.
Born in Manchester, Paddon’s career began at Coventry City, although he played just a handful of games before heading for Carrow Road in October 1969 signed by Ron Saunders for £25,000.
In 1972 he was a major part of the team which topped the old Division Two – he missed just two of the 42 league games during that campaign – and played in the 1973 League Cup final defeat to Spurs.
He moved to West Ham in 1973 for £170,000 – with striker Ted MacDougall moving the other way.
Paddon made 150 league and cup appearances and scored 20 goals in three years at Upton Park.
Paddon also played in the 1975 FA Cup final victory over Watford and the 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, which the Hammers lost 4-2 to Anderlecht.
Paddon then rejoined Norwich in November, 1976 for £110,000 and remained until December 1981.
He spent some time in the United States playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and then joined Millwall for a short spell before heading to Hong Kong to play for Eastern – his last club as a player.
On his return to Norfolk he ran the Ship pub at South Walsham.
Paddon went into coaching, working alongside Alan Ball at Portsmouth and Stoke City before returning to Fratton Park to work with Jim Smith.
Paddon died at his home in Norfolk in November, 2007 – he was just 57.
Former West Ham team-mate Alan Curbishley summed up what many people thought of the man: “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.”
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