Paddam, 74, still getting buzz from sport

You will be hard-pressed to find a more jovial character than Vincent Paddam.

Whether it is on the football field or the athletics track, the 74-year-old is no closer to putting the brakes on and slowing down.

The Northern footballer joined the club 50 years ago, when he first arrived in Dunedin from Cornwall on a working holiday - and has been there since.

The striker - "my goal rate is very low at the moment" - is still out on the park every Saturday, playing in the over 45s league, and he joined them again for the Masters Games this week.

And while he might play down his goal-scoring ability, his team-mates are patting him on the back after scoring their equaliser against Takapuna yesterday to draw 2-2.

Paddam, a self-confessed football "fanatic", has played at the Masters Games for years and enjoys the friendly nature among the teams.

"I like the camaraderie with people from all over the place", Paddam said.

"It’s just great spirit - it lifts everyone."

He witnessed plenty of hiccups throughout the years, too, watching people starting the games high and leaving as a shadow of their former selves.

"A lot of people get injured. These people come out there, don’t do any running and all walking around on sticks by the end", he joked.

Football had always been his first love - "I’ve been kicking a ball since I was 3" - but the keen walker had turned to athletics in recent years, and transformed into a pretty fine sprinter.

Northern striker Vincent Paddam juggles a football during a break at the Masters Games yesterday....
Northern striker Vincent Paddam juggles a football during a break at the Masters Games yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Paddam, who played semi-professional football as junior in Cornwall, won the 60m and 100m sprints at the Oceania masters athletic championships in Dunedin in 2018, and held the South Island masters track and field championship over-70s record in the 100m and 200m. He also held the 60m and 200m Otago masters record.

"I’ve blown my own trumpet."

Sport had been a big part of Paddam’s life since he was young, from being on the football field with his mates, to walking around the city.

"I walk everywhere. It just keeps me active and it’s something I’ve always done from a child and I just want to keep going.

As for the future of his football career?

"I want to play until I’m 90 at least.

"Probably won’t get in the team then", he said, laughing.