Bramley RL legends: Mighty Joe Sedgwick

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Bramley RL legends - Joe Sedgwick

Joe Sedgwick, son of former Bramley stalwart and still holder of the Bramley tries in a match record (seven v Normanton April 1906) also named Joe, was signed by Bramley in 1938, writes Paul Abraham.

Formerly a “soccer” man, Joe attracted the attention of the Barley Mow directors in a Workshop Competition Match.

Joe made his debut in December 1938 when he played in the Bramley side which which lost 0-26 at St Helens Recs.  

His first try in the amber and black came in a tight 10-7 win at the Barley Mow against Broughton Rangers on 1 April and three weeks later crossed again in the 8-11 loss at Keighley.

The 1939-40 season brought Joe eight tries in his 24 apperances, with tries coming in the home matches against Batley (16-8) and Castleford (5-11) before scoring in consecutive games in the 8-33 loss at Leeds and the 6-2 victory at home to Dewsbury.

Later in the campaign and Joe crossed the whitewash in three successive matches against Keighley away (5-2), Huddersfield at home (9-17) and in the narrow 12-15 loss at York. A final try of the season came in the excellent 13-11 home victory against neighbours Hunslet.

As the Second World War raged the season of 1940-41 brought Joe tries in the defeats at Featherstone (5-27), Bradford Northern (10-28) and in the home losses versus Dewsbury (5-23) Hull (5-6). The following season Joe crossed the line in the close 13-19 home defeat to a very strong Wigan side.

After serving for the Marines during the war, Joe enjoyed a good season on his return to first team rugby when during the 1945-46 season he scored five tries in 18 appearances, including two tries in the very narrow 9-11 defeat at Hull.  

Other tries came from the victories against Warrington (8-2) in the RL Cup and Workington (10-7) and the Yorkshire Cup home loss 14-22 versus Keighley.

One of the most outstanding tries ever scored by this loyal an popular player was against York in the 1946-47 season, when the game was abandoned just after half-time owing to the appalling conditions.  

On a heavy ground Joe received the ball in his own half and outpaced the entire York back division to score near the posts. He also scored tries in the home defeats v Huddersfield (5-25) and Salford (6-10) and losses at Hull (3-11) in the RL Cup and Keighley (11-37).

Another memorable try came during the 1947-48 campaign in the 16-21 loss at Leeds where according to press reports of the day stated that “sheer guts and determination being responsible for the try”.  

In the 13-0 home win against Dewsbury Joe crossed the whitewash twice while other scores came at the Barley Mow when hosting Hull KR (15-7) and Hull (9-2) and in the 7-29 reverse at Parkside against Hunslet.

Joe was awarded with Eddie Webb a Benefit Match in April 1948 when a combined Bramley, Hunslet & Leeds 13 played a Colonial & Welsh 13 at the Barley Mow ground.

His final appearance was a try scoring one in the 24-8 defeat of Leigh at home while the highlight of the season for Joe and the Bramley faithful was when he crossed in the 17-13 victory at home to Leeds.

Season          Apperances          Tries          Points

1938-39               14                     2                 6

1939-40               24                     8               24

1940-41               14                     4               12

1941-42               11                     1                 3

1945-46               18                     5               15

1946-47               33                     5               15

1947-48               26                     6               18

1948-49                 6                     2                 6

Totals                 146                   33               99

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