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Sporting Person: DEARING, PAUL, Hockey
Dearing, Paul
Type Sporting Person
Person Details DEARING, PAUL
Sport Details Hockey
Member of the Sporting Hall of Fame Yes
Biography Paul Dearing, one of four boys, was born in the harbour side suburb of Carrington on March 2, 1942. Paul did well in whatever sport he tackled in Primary School, especially running. In 1952 a former Australian hockey player, Ray Wright, visited Carrington Primary School with the express purpose of recruiting boys to join Northern Suburbs Hockey Club. Paul and his schoolmates met at Connolly Park after school where Ray taught them the basics of hockey, including the safe way to play. Paul's family, like many in those times didn't have money to spare for their sporting gear, so Paul's first hockey stick was a branch that was ripped from his Grandmother's nectarine tree and his twin brother Barry used their mother's wooden copper stick.
Paul and his brother Barry quickly adapted to the game of hockey, commencing in the Under 13 Junior Grade with Paul playing in the forward line. Paul's debut as goalkeeper was initiated by the regular goalkeeper breaking his leg, Paul volunteered to don the goalkeeping pads. So commenced his lengthy career between the posts.
The whole Dearing family was involved in hockey, his parents watching each match as well as travelling all over the state for carnivals and representative games. Fund raising was time consuming too with his mum's scones and pies gaining a well-deserved popularity.
Once they were old enough Paul and Barry played senior grade hockey, so Saturdays were hectic. By the time Paul was in the Under 16 grade, his Saturdays consisted of playing in the goals on the junior match, playing in the forward line for the senior 2nd grade team and back in the goals for 1st grade.
Paul Dearing represented Australia from 1963 until 1972, culminating in 69 international caps. He was a regular pick in the New South Wales side when not on International duties and played with considerable energy and courage in a time before the development of modern protective gear and helmets for goal keepers. Paul regularly charged down some of the best corner hitters in the game, especially amongst the Dutch team.
Paul played for Australia at three consecutive Olympic Games, winning a Bronze medal at Tokyo in 1964, contesting for Gold at Mexico but taking home Silver in 1968 and finally competing in the 1972 Munich Olympics where he was selected as goalkeeper in the World team named after the competition concluded. Paul also played in the 1971 World Championships held in Barcelona.
Playing in the days before professionalism Paul had to rely on the generous support of the local hockey community to achieve his sporting aspirations while working as a plasterer and raising a young family. He repaid them by his commitment to bold and daring goalkeeping when representing City, State and Country. At the conclusion of the 1972 Australian Championships in Sydney, Paul announced his retirement from further State and Australian representation.
Since Paul's representative career he has coached many teams from local to state level and now umpires in the Newcastle competition. His three children all played hockey and one son, Stewart played for the national team.
Achievements STATE:
1957 to 1972 - New South Wales Representative
1964 - Olympic Games (Tokyo) Won Bronze Medal
1968 - Olympic Games (Mexico City) Won Silver Medal
1971 - Hockey World Cup (Barcelona)
1972 - Olympic Games (Munich) Named in World Team drawn from all competitors
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