It was great to hear that Members of the Maitland Rugby Club undertook a tidy up at the grave site of the Lions first captain Robert Seddon in Campbells Hill Cemetery, Telarah today.
In 1888 the Lions captain Robert Seddon tragically drowned in the Hunter River while on the Lions’ first ever Tour of Australia and was buried in the Campbells Hill Cemetery. Ever since then the Members of the Maitland Rugby Club have continued to ensure the site is maintained.
With the British and Irish Lions due to play a combined country XV in Newcastle on June 11th it is expected that the team or a delegation will pay tribute to Seddon it is great to see another rugby club paying its respects.
Tragedy befalling Seddon who drowned when sculling on the Hunter. His scull capsized and his legs became entwined in the foot strappings and he could not break free. He was replaced as captain by Andrew Stoddart who was also to die under tragic circumstances when as a member of the Stock Exchange he committed suicide in 1915.
The 1888 team was not truly representative of the home nations as the British and Irish Lions are today, but each country was represented and Arthur Paul was the only Irish born player in the squad.
A.P. Penketh became the only player from the Isle of Man to tour with a British team on this tour and J.T. Haslam was credited as inventing a part of the game that is commonplace today, the dummy pass.
For the record this first team toured both Australia and New Zealand, and the played 35 games, won 27 drew 6 and lost 2. The two losses being to Taranaki Clubs and Auckland.