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Hall of Fame member Paul Dearing receives legendary status

Published Thu 02 May 2024

Former Kookaburra and double Olympic medallist Paul Dearing has been awarded legendary status 15 years after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. Legendary status is bestowed on hockey’s Hall of Fame members who have inspired and motivated others and whose standing and regard have reached an iconic status over the years. 

Paul joins a list of Australian hockey's most decorated and influential, alongside Dr Richard Charlesworth AO, Rechelle Hawkes AM, Alyson Annan OAM, Julian Pearce, and Sharon Buchanan OAM.

Dearing's place amongst the stars of Australian hockey was established when former teammate and Australian Coach Richard Aggiss surveyed 50 Australian players, officials and coaches to determine our greatest ever players. Dearing - the 186th player selected for Australia and inaugural inductee into Hockey Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2008 - was ranked third behind Ric Charlesworth and Julian Pearce.

A goalkeeper from NSW, Dearing built a training regime that became part of hockey folklore by running 400 meter sprints with his goalkeeping pads on. Often seen training with Rugby players, he was one of Australia’s fittest athletes and built a reputation for his fearless defense of the goals whether it was for his club, his state or for Australia in an era of limited protective gear.

Selected for Australia to play against New Zealand in New Plymouth in July 1963, he went on to play 69 International matches from 1963 - 1972.

He was one of two goalkeepers selected for the 1964 Olympic Team that won Australia’s first Olympic medal (bronze), and was selected to play in the semifinal against India and the Bronze Medal match against Spain.

Dearing went on to produce legendary performances in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, playing in all 10 matches including the semifinal against India and the final against Pakistan, consolidating himself as an integral part of a team that came home with a silver medal.

In 1971 Paul was selected in the Australian team for the inaugural World Cup in Barcelona, Spain and played in all 6 matches. In 1972 Paul was selected for his third Olympic Games in Munich where he played in all 9 matches before announcing his retirement from International Hockey.


To learn more about the history of Hockey Australia and the Hockey History Project, click here.

To view Hockey Australia Awards and Hall of Fame, click here.