BBC North-East takes a look at the Great War and Jimmy Seed. Please note that this is a long report and Seed's story is interwoven with that of others and contemporary events: The Last Pass
Seed's grandson James Dutton commented: 'After arriving in France in the summer of 1916, he struggled, suffering with bad periods of depression, which were only relieved by playing football. He was captain of his battalion team and his good friend Tommy Wilson was captain of another battalion of the Leeds Rifles. These football games really helped him.'
Like so many of those that served, Jimmy remained secretive about many of the details of his time in the army. But his passion for football never wavered and undoubtedly helped him deal with war.
With her brothers away on their European tour of duty, Minnie Seed stole the spotlight. She worked in a munitions factory but had the family's sporting genes. She represented numerous sides in her native North East and beyond - including the most famous of all, Dick, Kerr Ladies.
Seed was gassed twice during the war, but good fortune allowed him to continue his football career and then become Charlton manager. I have dealt with his sacking in 1956 in a recent article in Voice of the Valley. Jimmy's daughter Gladys went into labour on hearing that her dad had effectively been sacked. James Charlton Dutton was born the same day, three weeks early. 'Grandad really struggled after being sacked by Charlton,' added Dutton.
Seed struggled with depression all his life, but he opened up just once to his grandson about his wartime experiences. Dutton describes how much his grandad meant to him.
I had no idea Jimmy Seed's sister played for Dick, Kerr. She must have been seriously talented. There are scraps of footage on YouTube of Dick, Kerr matches and they look like very good footballers. Women's football was banned by the FA because it was becoming more popular than the men's game and Dick, Kerr were the top women's team.ReplyDelete