The introduction of Rugby Football at Seghill was a magnificent accident. Some of the younger men and the boys may well have marvelled at the antics of the Gloucester Regiment which was quartered near Seghill during some of the First World War. It may have bred a subconscious desire to 'have a go'. Boredom during the 1921 coal stoppage, and revulsion from Association football, which was being played from early morn to dewy eve, were, however, the main factors. One pair of Rugby posts, a few balls, and strenuous games on the asphalt-like pitch (which the good summer of that year provided) are among our memories of those early days.
Then we have just fifteen fellows who think they would like to have a game against someone outside. The Northumberland Rugby Union accepts us as Junior Members. A few fixtures are made; the die is cast. We wonder how long the interest will last!
So on a day in September we see fourteen slightly bewildered Seghill boys on the Grammar School Ground at Jesmond engaging Old Novocastrians Third XV, who were kind enough to give us a fixture. Fortunately for Seghill the fifteenth member was a veteran - Jack Morris - one of the finest forwards one could have wished for. Seghill won! A drop goal by Mitchell and a splendid penalty by Emmerson against two tries by the home team. As the teams left the ground 'Billy' Emmerson sidled over to me and whispered, 'Who's won?'
This winning XV were: H Stanley, T Mitchell, W Atkinson, J Evans, E Scott, W Foggett, A Polwarth, G Aldis, Joe Archbold, J Morris, W Emmerson, L Poynton, G Tully, G Martin and P Wilkinson.
This is the earliest surviving picture of a Seghill team. It features the 1925/26 Northumberland County Senior Shield winning team. Not bad for a club which had just been in existence for 4 years.
the team was ;-
back row - H.J. Pye,R. Glaiser,F. Hartshorne,G. Scott,J.W. Keating,J. Morris, W. Foggett, J. Moore, J. Bushby, R. Archbold.
middle row - R.W. Anderson, W. Emmerson, R. Laidman, E.J. Smith, A. Foster(captain), E. Spoor, W. Atkinson, D. Yarham, S. Walton-Brown.
front - T. Archbold, R. Harvey, T. Allison, R. Rossiter.
Following some research it was discovered that one of Seghill's players from the 1920's represented the British Lions on their 1924 tour of South Africa.He played in 7 matches including a test match against the Springboks. He scored the first points of the tour and also scored 5 tries in one provincial game. He would have almost certainly been selected for England but injuries from the African tour meant he missed the National trials.
He continued to play for Seghill until the mid-30's, captaining the club on 2 occasions, also captaining and playing in many Club cup successes in that period.