Joe Seddon

WE have received the sad news that Joe Seddon has passed away at the age of 83.

One of the most important figures in the history of St. Helens Rugby League Club for almost half a century, Joe was a chartered accountant by profession and worked initially for Saints’ Director Jim Robinson [Stanley Marsh and Company] in offices in the Town Hall Square, writes Alex Service.

Saints’ Chairman Harry Cook recognised his capabilities in terms of dealing with financial matters and appointed him Company Secretary.

Joe was also a valued member of the Board of Directors for many years at Knowsley Road.

He became Chairman of the club in September 1976, following the resignation of Charles Martin [Tom Ashcroft became vice-Chairman] and led the team out at Wembley for the 1978 Jubilee Challenge Cup final against Leeds.

His three-year tenure ended at the end of the 1978-79 season, when Tom Ashcroft took over, but Joe later became the elected Chairman of the Rugby Football League in 1985-86 – a tremendous honour indeed.

Born in Peasley Cross, Joe attended Cowley School and became good friends with [veterinary surgeon] John Tandy, who lived across the road.

Joe was a really popular man and a capable and trusted one too,” remembers former journalist Denis Whittle. “I believe he met [wife] Marjorie at Sutton Cricket Club, where they were both members of the Tennis section.”

Indeed, he married Marjorie in 1956 and they have a daughter, Helen and three grandsons. Joe joined the RAF for his National Service, during which time he played quite a bit of rugby union.

Apart from his close associations with the Saints, Joe was also a member of Grange Park Golf Club; a Chairman of St. Helens Round Table and an active Rotarian. A prominent local Freemason [St. George’s Lodge], he was also a most valued member of Windle Bowling Club for good measure.

Yet it is for his work at the helm at the Saints which he will be always remembered and cannot be under-stated.

Close friend Glynis Clegg, wife of former Chairman John, a fellow Board member, recalls his “warmth, kindness and his amazing sense of humour. We were close friends for many years and it does seem as though a very bright light has gone out.”

Everyone associated with St. Helens R.F.C. sends out their condolences to Joe’s family at this sad time

Joe’s funeral will be held at Rainford Parish Church on Monday January 5 at 11.30am. It will then transfer to St Helens Crematorium at 12.30pm.

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