The name of Charlie Seeling rung around rugby league for two generations, with Seeling Senior becoming a legend at Wigan before his son, Seeling Junior, played his career for Warrington, Wigan and then Dewsbury.
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Seeling Snr had established himself as a great Rugby Union prop-forward and centre, touring Britain in 1905/06 and winning 11 caps for his country. He was attracted over to the other code in 1910 by Wigan and became one of the best open props of his era. He played his League career out at Wigan, finishing in 1923. He was bigger than most of that era and won the nickname “Bronco” for his toughness during his playing days in New Zealand. British critic of the time, E H D Sewell, wrote: “This splendid specimen of manhood has everything necessary to the composition of a good forward. Search where one may, a better forward than Seeling does not exist.” Glowing praise indeed!
His son never won that sort of acclaim but was highly rated and captained Dewsbury in the years before he retired. The opponent of Charlie in Morris’ story is a forward known as ‘Plonk’ Rhodes, who played for Dewsbury after the First World War and was still going when Dewsbury lost 13-2 to Wigan in 1928, the first Challenge Cup final to be played in Wembley.