Richard ‘Dick’ Pym

A salmon fisherman and a professional footballer, he was famous in the 1920s for playing in goal for Bolton Wanderers in the first FA cup final played at Wembley Stadium, and in two later cup finals, during all of which he kept a clean sheet, and for the record-breaking fee Bolton paid for his transfer from Exeter City FC. Less obtrusively, he worked as a salmon fisherman in the River Exe all his life, and served the community of Topsham in many ways: as parish councillor, as a special constable during the Second World War, in running Topsham Football Club, and as a voluntary scout leader. During the First World War he served in the army, including a spell on the Western Front, and during the Second World War he worked as a section leader at Wippell’s parachute factory in Exeter. Some drying blocks, which he built in the river bed beside Ferry Road for the use by all fishermen when mending their boats, survive to this day,

The plaque is located on the churchyard wall in Ferry Road, Topsham

It reads:



The ‘Fisherman Footballer”

Exeter City, Bolton Wanderers and England

FA Cup Winner 1923, 1926 1929

Lifelong Topsham resident

Fished from here


Photo courtesy of Topsham Museum.

The plaque was erected by Topsham Museum to coincide with an exhibition held at the Museum in 2023 to celebrate the life of Dick Pym. Many of the Pym family attended the unveiling ceremony, including Richard Pym, a grandson, who spoke of his memories of Dick, and Rosie Jefferies, a granddaughter, who unveiled the plaque.

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