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|Full name||James Marshall Seed|
|Date of birth||(1895-03-25)25 March 1895|
|Place of birth||Blackhill, England|
|Date of death||16 July 1966(1966-07-16) (aged 71)|
|Place of death||Farnborough, England|
|Playing position(s)||Inside forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
On leaving school at 14, Seed worked at Whitburn colliery and when he reached 16 played football in the Wearside League for Whitburn, along with his brother Angus who would have a short professional career with Leicester Fosse. After scoring over 80 goals for Whitburn Jimmy had unsuccessful trials at South Shields and Sunderland. However Sunderland manager Bob Kyle decided to give Seed a second chance this time playing him at inside right instead of centre forward in a North Eastern League match against Wallsend. Seed scored a hat-trick in the match and was promptly signed by Sunderland as a professional in April 1914.
Sunderland and First World War
Seed spent the 1914–15 season playing in Sunderland reserves, he scored plenty of goals as the team lifted the Durham Senior Cup. Official League football was suspended at the end of that season because of the outbreak of World War I. At the end of the season, the 20-year-old Seed joined the Army Cyclist Corps. In the summer of 1916, he was drafted to France with the 8th battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Seed suffered with depression after his arrival and in July 1917, he was gassed when a German aeroplane dropped mustard gas bombs on a house in Nieuwpoort, Belgium, in which he was sleeping. He returned to England to convalesce and returned to France in August 1918, until being evacuated after being gassed in Valenciennes, France two months later. With the cessation of hostilities, Seed played a Victory League match for Sunderland against Durham City in 1918, however his lungs were weak and he had a poor game. On the strength of that performance the Sunderland directors decided that Seed's wartime experience had finished him as a footballer and gave him a free transfer. Seed never played an official first team game for Sunderland. Seed was discharged from the army in March 1919.
Seed's football career was rescued by Haydn Price (former Wales international), the manager of Welsh non-League team Mid Rhondda who were based in the town of Tonypandy. Price offered Seed a chance to play for the South Wales club which was accepted and he signed for them in July 1919. Seed joined former England international Joe Bache and ex-teammate from Sunderland Frank Pattison in the Mid-Rhondda side and they had a successful time in the seven months that Seed was with them, winning both the Southern League Division Two and Welsh League titles. Seed's good form attracted the attention of Tottenham Hotspur manager Peter McWilliam and in January 1920 he signed for the north London side for a fee of £250, a move which caused some antagonism amongst supporters in Tonypandy.
After initially playing five games in the reserves Seed got his first team chance with Spurs, making his debut at inside right and forming an immediate understanding with the legendary, diminutive right winger Fanny Walden. Seed played five games in the remainder of the 1919–20 season, scoring two goals as Spurs ran away with the Division Two title. Seed was a virtual ever present for Spurs in the following seven seasons in Division One. The 1920–21 season saw Tottenham lift the FA Cup with Seed playing in all six matches in the cup run, scoring five goals including a hat trick against Bradford City in the second round. Just two months after getting his cup winners medal Seed was called up for the first of this five England caps on 21 May 1921 against Belgium, he never got a long run in the international side, playing his final game in April 1925.
1921–22 saw Tottenham finish runners up to Liverpool in Division One with Seed scoring 10 goals in 36 appearances. In February 1927 Peter McWilliam resigned as Spurs manager, being replaced by Billy Minter. Minter obviously thought the 32-year-old Seed was reaching the end of his career with a young Taffy O'Callaghan ready to take his place, he promptly cut Seed's wages from £8 to £7 a week. Seeds reaction to this was to ask to be released by the club at the end of the 1926–27 season and after looking like taking the player-managers job at Aldershot he eventually signed for Sheffield Wednesday in a part exchange deal involving Darkie Lowdell and a cash adjustment paid by Spurs.
Seed made his Wednesday debut on 27 August 1927 in the first match of the 1927–28 season against Everton. During the first part of the season Seed was asked to play in numerous different positions by manager Bob Brown as Wednesday struggled in Division One. By mid March 1928 they had won only six matches out of 32 and were seven points adrift at the foot of the table. At that stage Seed was made team captain with existing skipper Fred Keen being dropped, Ellis Rimmer was bought from Tranmere Rovers and these changes triggered an amazing recovery. Wednesday picked up 17 points out of a possible 20 in the last ten matches and avoided relegation by a point. The irony was that it was Seed's old club Tottenham who were relegated on the final day of the season.
By his own admission Seed did not play his best football of his career at Wednesday but his experience and know-how as captain was the catalyst that drove a young and talented Wednesday side to two successive Division One championships in the following two seasons (1928–29 and 1929–30), making this the most successful period in the club's history. He played in Sheffield Wednesday's 2–1 defeat by Arsenal in the Charity Shield at Stamford Bridge in October 1930. Seed played four seasons at Hillsborough but by the 1930–31 season, aged 35, he was badly hampered by a knee injury and was often limping before the end of the games, he often played even though he was not fully fit because of his talismanic influence on the team. After damaging the ligaments in his right knee in a match against Newcastle United at Christmas 1930 he realised his playing days were numbered, but he didn't retire until the end of the 1931–32 season. He then took up an offer from Herbert Chapman to manage Clapton Orient (which Chapman intended to become Arsenal's nursery club).
Seed began his managerial career at Clapton Orient. He was tempted into the job by Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman who told Seed that Arsenal had plans to buy Orient and turn them into a nursery club for Arsenal. Seed commenced the job at £12 a week but within a short time Arsenal were forced to abandon their plans after being told by the Football League that they were unlawful. Without the financial backing of Arsenal, Orient had very little money and the team struggled. In Seed's first season as manager the team finished 16th and then in the following 1932–33 campaign they avoided having to seek re-election on goal average. In May 1933 he accepted the offer of the manager's job at Charlton Athletic despite Sheffield Wednesday trying to tempt Seed back to Hillsborough as a replacement for the manager Bob Brown.
Between 1933 and 1936 he led Charlton to successive promotions from the Third Division to the First Division. In Charlton's first season in the top-flight, they finished runners-up behind Manchester City in 1937. They finished third and fourth in the final two seasons before the outbreak of the Second World War.
He led the team into a variety of regional competitions set up during the war and Charlton reached a Wembley final for the first time in 1943. They were beaten 7–1 by Arsenal in the War Cup. They were more successful in 1944, when captain Don Welsh lifted the trophy following a 3–1 triumph over Chelsea.
They contested the first two post-war FA Cup finals at Wembley, which were noted for the ball bursting on both occasions. They were well beaten 4–1 by Derby County in 1946, but a Chris Duffy goal beat Burnley 1–0 in 1947.
Despite the revenues generated by very large home attendances, Charlton wouldn't allow Seed to invest in new players (he 'discovered' Stanley Matthews but wasn't allowed to sign him) and so The Addicks were unable to repeat their pre-war success in the First Division, finishing no higher than ninth in the initial six seasons after the conflict. They narrowly missed relegation in 1949–50 with a 20th position finish, but they finished fifth in 1952–53. Following two bottom-half-of-the-table finishes, Seed endured a dreadful start to the 1956–57 season, losing their first five matches, before being asked for his resignation in September 1956.
The South Stand at The Valley, Charlton's home ground, is named after Seed.
After Charlton had turned down his request to become a Director, he became an advisor at Bristol City in January 1957, he took over as caretaker manager in January 1958 for a short while after Pat Beasley had left the club. When new Bristol boss Peter Doherty took over, Seed moved to manage Millwall in the early months of 1958. He got off to a terrible start at The Old Den going nine matches without a win. The team eventually finished 23rd in Division Three South having to apply for re-election. The following season saw Millwall playing in the new Football League Fourth Division eventually finishing 9th. Seed stepped down as Millwall manager at the end of the 1958–59 campaign but stayed with the club as advisor and then as a club director. He continued as a director of Millwall until his death on 16 July 1966, aged 71.
- "Football Remembers The1914 Christmas Truce Education pack" (PDF). p. 102. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Phillips, Owen; Aloia, Andrew. "The Last Pass". BBC News. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "Club history: Mid Rhondda". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- Hill, Tony. "Leeds City players: Ioan Haydn Price". www.ozwhitelufc.net. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- www.thefa.com. Gives details of England career.
- "The Jimmy Seed Story", Jimmy Seed, ISBN 0-9529668-0-8 Gives biographical and career information.
- SWFC Archive. Gives statistics for Sheffield Wednesday career.
- "Fortune smiles on the Arsenal". Sheffield Independent. 8 October 1930. p. 10. Retrieved 22 March 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Jimmy Seed Story", Jason Dickinson & John Brodie, ISBN 0-9547264-9-9 Page 262 Gives biographical information.
- "Professionals v. Amateurs – selected teams for annual match". Derby Daily Telegraph. 26 September 1929. p. 10. Retrieved 21 March 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Clayton, Paul (2001). The Essential History of Charlton Athletic. Headline Book Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 0-7553-1020-9.
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