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Paul Hammond is a retired English-American soccer goalkeeper who played professionally in England, the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League. On January 13, 1971, Hammond signed as an apprentice with English First Division club Crystal Palace. He remained in the Palace youth team until first team keeper, John Jackson was injured in 1972. While Hammond then became the starting keeper, his inexperience was a contributing factor to Palace’s slide to the second division, then third division. In the midst of Palace’s free fall through the English leagues, the team loaned Hammond to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League for off-season training. The Rowdies were created in 1974 and began play in 1975. The new owners hired Eddie Firmani, an assistant with Palace, as the team’s first head coach. Firmani brought over three Palace players, Stewart Jump, Mark Lindsay and Hammond for the 1975 season. Amazingly, the Rowdies won the league championship that season, with Hammond recording clean sheets in all three playoff games.

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