Shattered to learn that Paul Dear passed away overnight after bravely fighting pancreatic cancer. Paul was the first NSM winner I identified with, igniting my interest in Grand Final day. Was a privilege to get to know him later in life. What a character! Vale great man.
It is with a very heavy heart the CFNC wishes to advise that Paul “Choppa” Dear passed away tonight. The youngest of the four Dear boys, Choppa was born in 1966. A half-forward, he played with Hazelwood-Churchill fourths and, with his brother Lawry was a member of the 1980 fourths premiership team. He played for the Under 16’s in the LVFL in 1981 & 1982, and played his first senior game in 1983. With duties in representative teams, he played 22 games for the club during 1983 & 1984. He was a member of the 1983 senior premiership team alongside older brothers Jim & Lawry. After being recruited by Hawthorn he made his senior debut in 1987 playing a total of 123 senior games. In Hawthorn’s 1991 premiership victory over West Coast Eagles, he won the Norm Smith medal as the best player on the ground. Our so sincere condolences go out to the Dear family at this sad time. RIP Choppa.
Paul Dear (born 28 December 1966) is an Australian former footballer who plays for the Hawthorns in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Hawk Ruckman’s younger brother Greg Lieber, Paul is the shorter of the two, Greg’s height is 199cm, while Paul’s height is 188cm. Despite giving taller opponents a few inches, Paul occasionally becomes the team’s second jerk. Dear Brother was recruited while in Hawthorn in Latrobe Valley. As a center, Deere made his debut in 1987 and played in the Finals that year. He filled in for the missing Jason Dunstall at the all-forward position, but ultimately lost.
Unable to break into the flank for several years in 1988 and 1989, Dear was called an emergency several times.
He played one regular-season game in 1990 and played in 23 games, and his form continued into 1991. In the 1991 Finals, he helped Hawthorne to a two-goal win over the West Coast, earning him his Premier League medal and a Norm Smith medal. Dier nearly single-handedly turned a nine-point deficit into a 10-point lead at halftime as he dominated Hawthorn’s half-forward line and built up several goals.
He put his skills to use teaching in the Victorian countryside.