Today we received this in the gmail ... Charles Edward Seeling toured the UK with the 1905 All Blacks, then switched to rugby league and played for Wigan. He was the licensee of the Roebuck Hotel in Wigan, and died in a car crash in Stalybridge on 29 May 1956. Do you, or any or your readers, know where he is buried.
Tim Reynolds (Australia)
Looking around Google for Mr Seeling I came accross this photo. This story caught my interest and although I am not a rugby (or sport in general) aficionado, I have put together this small article and info sheet. If you have any further information please advise of any changes or additions.
Charles “Bronco” Seeling
14 May 1883 – 29 May 1956
Born in New Zealand, Charles Seeling was a Rugby Player for the All Blacks in the early 1900’s. Seeling, Wanganui-born team member, appeared in 39 matches, including 11 tests, playing in the forwards of the original All Blacks.
He was regarded as the best loose forward in world rugby at the time and later in rugby league when he switched codes. Seeling was a key member of the victorious Auckland Ranfurly Shield side between 1904 and 1909, during this time he was was well known, and somewhat feared, for his famous dive tackles.
This team were known as ‘The Originals’ and were the first New Zealand national rugby union team to tour outside Australasia.
The team toured the British Isles, France and the United States of America during 1905–1906. The opening game was against Devon on 16 September 1905 whom they defeated 55–4. Such was the surprise that some newspapers in Britain printed that Devon had scored 55 points and not the All Blacks. In the following games the Original All Blacks went on to defeat every English side that they faced, including a 16–3 victory over English county champions Durham, and a 32–0 victory over Blackheath.
Seeling signed to Wigan, an English Rugby League club, in 1910 where he scored 54 tries and participated in three consecutive championship finals.
Charlie Seeling played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, and scored a try in Wigan's 21-5 victory over Rochdale Hornets in the 1912 Lancashire Cup final during the 1912–13 season at Weaste, Salford, on Wednesday 11 December 1912. Seeling went on to make over 200 first grade appearances for the club over thirteen years, playing as captain for three of them.
A noted British rugby writer, E. H. D. Sewell, wrote of Seeling:
"Search where one may, a better forward than Seeling does not exist."
He spent the rest of his life in Britain, dying in 1956 at the age of 73 in Stalybridge in a car accident, which also killed his wife and daughter. His granddaughter, Margaret Morris, survived the crash aged 18 months and was brought up by her older sister. Now Mrs Morris - from Didcot, near Oxford - is on a pilgrimage to New Zealand with her husband and said her grandfather was always proud of his New Zealand heritage and had taught her siblings the haka.
Download a free Stalybridge Town information sheet for on THIS LINK