A special exhibition is currently running at Topsham Museum to honour former City and Bolton Wanderers legend Dick Pym.
Dick Pym was the premier English goalkeeper of the 1920s, gaining winner’s medals in three FA Cup finals without conceding a single goal.
Dick initially followed the family professional as a youngster, namely becoming a fisherman, something he continued to do throughout his playing career and after.
He joined the Grecians from Topsham in December 1911, making his first team debut three months later in a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke. This was the start of a remarkable 186 consecutive appearances for Exeter in the League.
Dick toured South America in 1914 with the Grecians, but unfortunately he broke two ribs in the first game against Argentine North, which Exeter won 1-0. Ironically he suffered on the outward voyage to South America from sea sickness.
He recalled many years later, that he brought a parrot back to England from Brazil, which happily settled in at St James Park. When it died, it was buried under the goal, to be hurriedly dug up again, to break Exeter's losing streak that had commenced at the parrots internment.
In 1920, Exeter City sold Pym to Bolton Wanders for what was then a huge but undisclosed transfer fee and was reported as a record for a Southern League player. He would go on to make 301 league outings for Bolton and three appearances for England.
Dick died on 16th September 1988 and Exeter City held a minutes silence in his honour at the first home game after his death. Exeter City Council have named a close, off Grecian Way, Dick Pym Close.
The 1923 exhibition at Topsham Museum tells his rags to pitches story, including his part in a pre-WW1 soccer tour of South America, and centring on the 1923 FA Cup Final.
Played 100 years ago this year, the ‘White Horse’ Final was the first to be played at Wembley and the match did not turn out as the promotors expected. If you’re keen on football, and even if you’re not, you’ll enjoy this amazing, heart-warming story.
- When: March 29, 2023 to October 31, 2023
- Where: Topsham Museum
- Time: 1400 - 1700
- Cost: None
- Suitable for: Any age