Vale Rodney Seekamp

Rodney Seekamp ( photo courtesy and permission granted by the NFC to use )

 

Rodney John Seekamp
Born: 12th May 1949
Died:  18th December 2019

League career: 1970 to 1977, 1979
Debut: v West Adelaide (Norwood) – 16th May 1970
Finale: v West Adelaide (Richmond) – 12th May 1979
Norwood games: 145 (110 goals)
Reserves games: 29 (33 goals)
State games:  1 v WA (Football Park) 18th May 1974 – first ever state game at Football Park
League Premierships: 1975
Reserves Premierships: 1970
1971 – shared “Best 1st Year Player” with Greg Schlein
1972 – Services Rendered
1973 – Runner-up Fairest & Most Brilliant to Michael Taylor
1974 – 5 year certificate, state representative
1975 – Premiership
1976 – Outstanding Services Rendered

 

http://www.redlegsmuseum.com.au/ON_FIELD/PLAYERS/SEEKAMP__Rodney.aspx

 

Norwood football club has been rocked by the passing of Glen Rosser https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-footy-history-glen-black-duck-rosser-an-ornament-to-the-game/ and Rodney Seekamp in quick succession. Suddenly we have lost 2/3rds of our 1975 Premiership centre line.

 

I wish to pay respects to Rodney ( thank you to Ben Seekamp and Rhonda Centofanti for your assistance).

 

Rodney grew up in Renmark and maintained a fierce loyalty to the Riverland until his passing.

 

Rodney had a few setbacks when he was young. At the age of 4 he was diagnosed with polio in the left leg and right arm. He was confined to bed and the house was quarantined by Health authorities. Oblivious to what he shouldn’t do, Rodney would sneak outside to ride his bike and his mum ( Doreen ) would chase him,  hopefully catch him and take him back inside. Rodney was lucky to recover without having to wear callipers unlike a lot of other folk in that era.

 

Rodney also had a welding accident where he was welding the drawbar of a trailer on a drum. That drum had a small amount of diesel in it and unfortunately it blew up. Rodney was on fire  that couldn’t be extinguished even though he was wrapped in his dad’s ( Lindsay ) coat.

 

Rodney sprinted off and jumped into the cow trough and although this provided some immediate relief he ended up with 3rd degree burns to his body.

 

Rodney loved the family times when he was younger with the extended Seekamp family.

He would enjoy motor bike riding, fishing, yabbying, shooting and camping trips at Chowilla station ( 27 cousins plenty of fun when the Seekamp clan gathered ).

 

Rodney loved life but wasn’t exactly a fan of school.  He once left a dead rabbit at the High School office entrance and a dead snake in the female staff toilets. His poor history teacher made the grim discovery and freaked out, the culprit was never found because he did not tell any one not even his close mates. Rodney only recently confessed that it indeed was the illustrious number 26! Rodney, however,  loved sport at school and excelled in everything he had a crack at especially cricket and footy.

 

Rodney was the rock of the family, the chief instigator in gatherings and in Seekamp family reunions. It will not be the same with out Rodney leading the way but he’ll we owe it massively to Rodney to make sure these continue and grow.

 

We will desperately miss the surprise phone calls from Rod, “hey just whipping up to Renmark and Deb and I will meet up with you folk for pizza and a catch up at Bella Lavender.” It has been a great sharing time we will miss greatly.

 

Rodney Seekamp, the gentle and thoughtful man who loved and embraced those around him, the precious gifts of love, understanding and wisdom you have given us will live on forever.

 

(Thank you Rhonda Centofanti for the chance to use your notes )

 

Rodney’s footy career  (thanks Ben Seekamp for your assistance)

 

Rodney played for the Renmark Rovers in ’63.  By ’67  Rodney was playing A grade and in ’69 played a integral part in the’ 69 flag playing CHF. Not bad for a bloke of 5 foot 10 inches ( prefer the old language). Rodney decided to venture to Adelaide and in 1970 was actually signed by South Adelaide however South wouldn’t agree to Renmarks requests for them to grant a clearance. Norwood had also shown interest in Rod, the Panthers loss was certainly the Redlegs gain.

 

Rod had grown up as a North Adelaide supporter that was quickly converted thus was the beginning of a 50 year association with the Norwood Football Club for the Seekamp family.

 

Rodney made his league debut in Round 6, 16th May 1970 with the Legs getting the chocolates. Rod had turned 21 just 4 days earlier ( don’t think the celebratory Gatorade shower was around then ).

 

Rodney played in the 1970 Reserves premiership win being high in the best players playing on a half forward flank. In ’71 Rod shared the best 1st year player award, 73 was a break out year for Rod finishing up runner up in the B & F. Rodney wasn’t alone thinking he could have won. In ’74 Rodney played mainly on a half back flank and was chosen to make his State debut against WA at Football Park and performed more than serviceably.

 

In ’75, coach Bob Hammond returned Seekers to the pivot and he had some terrific battles with players such as Russell Ebert ( great to see Russell at both Rodney’s and Glen Rosser’s funerals, true class ) Brendon Howard, Peter Marker and even a few against the incomparable Barrie Robran.

 

 

   Rodney Seekamp getting his kick away from the chasing Russell Ebert

  ( photo courtesy of, and permission granted, the Norwood FC)

 

Rodney was a vital part of the 1975 flag,  such was his influence,  the club received a death threat directed at Rodney leading up to the Grand Final.  The club withheld this information from Rodney but two detectives were given the task of making sure that Rodney made it to the Grand Final on the Saturday.  The job was given top priority so other trivial crimes such as assaults, robberies were put on the back burner! (nothing wrong with a bit of poetic licence ).  Mind you something tells me, Rodney wouldn’t have been bothered by the threat and may have been keen to find the person who made the threat.

 

Rodney had a very good season in ’76 being awarded with outstanding services rendered.

 

In ’78 Rodney suffered a serious knee injury early in the season and missed out  playing in our centenary flag side. Rodney managed to play a few games in ’79 but his knee injury forced Rodney to retire playing his 145th and final league game on May 12th 1979, his 30th birthday.

 

The great man, John Wynne believes Rodney  as strong and tough as any player he played with. Having enormous core strength and balance when he was hovered over the ball and very hard to move ( for younger readers definite similarities to Garry McIntosh ).

 

Rodney glided across the turf when running, he didn’t look quick but was rarely caught.

 

Rodney called and visited old team mates checking on their well being, particularly in the last few years. It was great to catch up with Rodney at Past v Present cricket matches, and at past player and officials lunches ( every one is welcome ).  And, as Michael Aish succinctly put on the passing of Glen Rosser, urging all and sundry to make every effort to attend functions. The loss of Rodney further reinforces that thought.

 

Rodney had a love of the trots and was involved in all aspects in the sport.

 

He worked for John Sands in the greeting card game, had the original newsagency at West Lakes, and managed the Holdfast Hotel. Rodney also  worked at the Brighton Hotel and was involved at the Parafield Community Club. Rodney was a social person!

 

Rodney is survived by his partner Deb and his 8 children, our thoughts and best wishes go to his family !

 

To use the words of the magnificent commentator Max Hall in the ’75 grand final: PLAYED RODNEY SEEKAMP!

 

 

Rodney Seekamp Marks strongly.

(Photo courtesy of the NFC permission granted to use )

 

 

Rodney gets the handball away against North Adelaide.

 

( photo courtesy of NFC and permission given by the NFC to use the photo )

 

Rodney at training.

 

( photo courtesy of NFC and permission given by the NFC to use the photo)

 

 

Readmore from Malcolm ‘Rulebook’ Ashwood (plenty of Norwood pieces) HERE.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Peter Myers says

    Thanks for the article Mal. He was another of many Norwood players I greatly admired, such a smooth mover, with a touch of class, but tough as teak as well, as you say. Even though I couldn’t be at Footy Park on that magical, drought breaking day in 1975, due to basketball commitments, it is a day that I will NEVER forget! My condolences to his family and friends, and may he Rest In Peace

  2. Very well written Malcolm.

  3. Another will written piece Malcolm, seems like he was a great bloke and an even better footballer. Rest in peace.

  4. DUANE Stewart says

    Great article book – very sorry to hear of Rods passing as he was one of my favorite players growing up watching him at the parade and sorry I couldn’t make the funeral as currently away. Condolences to the entire Seekamp family. RIP #26

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Rod Seekamp was yet another very very good player from the 70s, respected across the SANFL. Well played ‘Book. RIP.

  6. Sad news. Grand tribute Malcolm. Dad was in the Savings Bank of SA in Renmark around 1965/66. Reckon he played in a cricket premiership with a very young Rod Seekamp around 1966. Rod was just a natural at any sport and a very unassuming country boy. Followed his footy career closely because of the common history despite his joining the eastern suburbs silver tails. Had a brother who was a good sportsman (Daryl?). My memory of him as a footballer was tall for a wingman back then (maybe 6’1″/185cm) and not quick but always graceful and composed. Rarely fumbled or knocked off the ball with very good hands. Strong mark and a penetrating precise drop punt. One of the good guys.

  7. Michael Aish says

    Another sad loss for the club. Tough as they come . The Seekamp name will live on in the memories of us all.

  8. Tim Wedding says

    Saw many photos of Rod as a kid. Had a face and physique you’ll not forget in a hurry. Great article, he sounds like a fantastic bloke and gun player.

  9. Great read. So much I didn’t know about Rodney. Was talking about his passing to my Mum and brother the other day, and they said he was a great player and one of their favourites. Even tho I have been a Norwood Supporter forever, I didn’t really come into the club until 1978 so really didn’t see Rodney play many games. Condolences to all family and friends. Another sad loss for the Norwood Footy Club. RIP Rodney. ????

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Lovely tribute Malcolm, no doubt a tough time for everyone at Norwood at the moment as well as the Seekamp family.

  11. Lachlan Waterman says

    Fascinating piece. Recall some great battles with Glenelg Captain Peter Marker. Like so many Redlegs players of his era, saved his best for the big occasion.

  12. From a Redleg supporter. I well remember Rodney playing many a great game. Lifted himself to a higher level when playing against other club’s great players. Gone too early.

  13. A great tribute to a Redlegs great. The pictures really added to the story. Thanks for going the extra mile to put this story together. He was often photographed in front of the “Public not allowed on playing arena” sign.

  14. Well done Mal again, magnificently spoken by Ben at the funeral, I will always remember Rod for his gracefull covering of the Parade turf and those drop kicks into the forward line. Another true gentleman lost.

  15. John Kennedy ( Ex Renmark and CDFC SANFL. says

    Hi Malcolm! Once again, many thanks, for your excellent communication. So very sad to hear of the passing of Rod Seekamp. Rodney and his family are steeped in Riverland way of life in every area from family involved in every area of life from the early history of Renmark growth,from Fruit growing, River care, Sport and multiple other areas of leadership, industry awareness, and important events that were of major importance to Renmark and the Riverland. Rodney was Quietly effective in anything he chose to take part in, he never made a big noise, it just happened. He was generous of heart, and a kind and caring friend. I have not seen Rodney in many years l think the last time was Renmark Rovers Centenary Celebrations. I remember thinking to my inner self on leaving Rovers Clubrooms, after a conversation with Rodney and several others, before leaving, to head back to Darwin, “ l like that man,he’s still the same as he ever was”. Vale Rodney, May God bless you, and may you Rest In Peace. Cheers. JK.

  16. I drove a winner for Rodney at the trots called.sikaz lad got some money out of it too!. Good trainer and more importantly a.fantastic bloke

  17. Excellent article RB. Enjoyed reading it. Interesting that Rod grew up barracking for the Roosters.

  18. Martin Rumsby says

    Loved watching him play. Your article has given an insight to the man behind the footballer. Thanks Malcolm and RIP Rodney.

  19. Great tribute Malcolm. Rod Seekamp was one of my favourite players (also greatly admired by my late father). I couldn’t believe it when Bob Oatey played Seekers at half back in ’73. Although playing great attacking footy there, he really came of age when Bob Hammond switched him to the pivot. What an outstanding centre line we had in ’75 – Rosser, Seekamp and Gallagher – top shelf.

    Whilst on long service leave in September ’75, I met Rod when he ran the West Lakes news agency and was immediately impressed with Rod Seekamp the man. We had many enjoyable conversations.Knee injuries forced him to miss the ’78 premiership but he got me a copy of “Red and Blue Blooded” and a bottle of premiership port.

    Rod Seekamp – I’ll never forget you RIP

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Peter yes it was a awesome day,thanks Andrew and Campbell.Duane it was a appropriate and very good send off.Swish thank you.PB yep Daryl is Rodney’s brother,Rodney played half back,half forward but mainly in the middle and yes deceptively quick v rarely got caught.Aishy well said as always.Tim and Jan thank you.
    Luke yes a somber time v much so spoke to,John Wynne Saturday night who was v open with how much he is struggling with everything at the moment understandably.Lachlan Seekers fantastic big game player well and truly.PH thank you and v much so.6 % per cent and a huge thank you to,Roger Woodcock helping with the photos re each,Norwood article yep great player,Woody but blood oozes red and blue.Schmaaly I don’t care where from but can I please give you a lift home from a event other than a funeral ? Well said re,Ben and,Seekers drop kicks and v much so.JK thank you for the insight in to,Rodney and Renmark no doubt what so ever he is massively respected by the Renmark folk.RD Rod loved the trots and yes certainly had some success.Charlie I fully expected you to pick up on the roosters mention.Martin thank you.Fisho I admit I thought of you when at the funeral thinking of how I could write the article and thank you folks

  21. Daryl Schramm says

    Malcolm. You do this stuff extremely well. A credit to you. Saw Rod play as a teenager many times. Fairly silky as I recall. Based on your comments above I see Schmaaly is up to his old tricks.

  22. Malcolm, earlier you mentioned Russell Ebert attending both the Rosser and Seekamp funerals. Russ is a true gentleman. I met him one day whilst fishing in West Lakes. He was riding his bike around the Lake when he spotted me fishing. Approaching me we had a really good conversation about the Lake and, although I knew who he was, I doubt footy came up.This event occurred in the eighties and somehow I doubt whether he remembers me.. I recall at least 2 other times we had yarns whilst I fished.Also I recall that many good judges considered Russ and Seekers as the 2 best centre men in SA

    In conclusion, sometime in the future, you will collect all your Redleg profiles and present them in book form for the supporters. I know my lad, David would love you to do it. Love your work Rulebook.

  23. anita white says

    Rodney’s footy days were well and truly over by the time he came to my parents stables at Globe Derby Park to rent a stable some 25 years ago. From that time on there was this special bond between the Seekamp’s and the White’s. The most memorable time was our 2 week camping holiday to Alice Springs for the rodeo and then onto Ayer’s Rock as it was known back then. With Rod and my brother-in-law Steve Pearson they organised the best trip ever with 15 people 2 horses and a dog! In later years Rodney almost became “Carer” for my parents who were not going so well and would often ring one of us girls to report in! For that I will be forever grateful and it saddens me to think Rod (who I always felt as my big brother)won’t be there when I come to visit in Adelaide. I only hope there is a Stratco up there!! RIP my dear friend

  24. Good work Book.

  25. Geoffrey Wilson says

    A great article on a magnificent footballer, who played in such a wonderful era of Norwood and the SANFL.The thing i remember most about Rodney was his great battles with Ebert,Marker and other great players of the 70’s. Also his ability to break tackles and never seem to get caught with his amazing core strength. I also remember just how tough he was, at the footy and no one picking him. Well written Malcolm, another one for your growing book. In the words of the great Wally May, Played Seekamp. RIP Rodney.

  26. Robert Dittmar says

    I drove a winner for Rodney at the trots called.sikaz lad got some money out of it too!. Good trainer and more importantly a.fantastic bloke

  27. Michael Rehn says

    Well written Malcolm,Rod was a terrific player, one who I really enjoyed watching. He had a great skill-set and was incredibly poised and balanced and deceptively quick too. Whenever choosing a team of the era or whatever I always included Rod Seekamp in the side. He was incredibly versatile having won a state jumper as a half back flanker, was a Premiership player as a centreman and kicked plenty of goals as a half forward. He was good, bloody good, and sadly we say goodbye to another of our champions.

  28. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Daryl thank you in defense of Schmaaly I may add I did offer him a lift re leaving,Black Ducks and Seekers wakes.Fisho Russell is a fantastic bloke like,Barrie R he truly gets it and yes a book is in the pipeline well and truly hopefully will happen before the end of 2020.Anita thank you and best wishes.TC thank you.Geoff yes the good old days especially re 1 on 1 battles and yes incredible core strength.Robert thank you it’s great getting some comments re Rods involvement in the harness industry.Michael very well said you nailed it thanks folks

  29. Malcolm, I well remember being quite perplexed when Coach Oatey (an old school chum of mine) took Seekers away from half forward and played him on the half back flank. Well, what a surprise I was in for. From a goal kicking forward, Seekers shone as a brilliant attacking defender. When Bob Hammond, in ’74 took over the reins as head honcho, he was the wisdom in retaining Rodney in defense. But then came the master stroke, with Carman off to Collingwood in ’75, Hammond switched Seekers to centre.

    In my opinion Rod Seekamp would have become the state’s elite centre player, along with Russell Ebert of course, for many many years except for a series of nasty leg injuries.If only Seekers, Turbill and Jimmy Thiele hadn’t had their brilliant careers cut short by injury.

    PS, speaking of Ebert, I have great respect for his opinions on footy over the radio. He always makes great sense. I always thought he was treated badly when Port sacked him as coach in ’88 for John Cahill

  30. Mal what a magnificent piece and the stories of Rodney Seekamp epitomise the strong Norwood tradition. Condolences to the Seekamp families but be proud of your influence on shaping the life of a great Redleg. Norwood for AFL.

  31. Didn’t know much about R. Seekamp, Rulebook. But I do now. Great tribute. Thanks.

    Was he a Robbie Flower type? Photos indicate he might have been.

    Hope the footy club is keeping all these brilliant pieces.

  32. Harry Butler says

    Thanks Rulebook, Great eulogy for a great player. I remember Rod as a tough but fair player who always ran in straight lines, never lost his feet, and always finished with a lovely penetrating kick. As mentioned by you and several correspondents he had to stand some really great players in the days when the ‘centreman’ was often the best player in the side. He rarely lowered his colours. Really sad to see the idols of my youth disappearing now: RIP to all of them.

  33. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fisho definitely a case of the what if’s re Seekers,Terbs and Jim sadly and more importantly in life for,Jim as well.and yes I have enormous respect for Russell.Greg well said re Seekers.Dips a bit in terms of gliding across the surface but Rod probably more in and under with,Robbie as we no one of the greats on the outside.Harry yes tough but fair with that beautiful penetrating kick and yes v v rarely lowered his colors. a bloody sad fortnight thanks folks

  34. Matt Zurbo says

    A great piece written with the utmost respect! Thanks for this amazing window into football royalty.

  35. A fine tribute, Rulebook. Well played!

  36. Had to point out to the MC at a pre Grand Final function that Rodney Seekamp wasn’t acknowledged as being in the room, from then on he would always say g’day. Good article

  37. Joel Seekamp says

    Malcolm, a great tribute for Dad. Well known for his talents on and off the field. He will be sorely missed

  38. Clint Seekamp says

    Hi all, there’s one piece of information missing from the story. In 1969 a Port official (B McLean) met Dad in a room at the Renmark hotel and offered him $2000 pounds to sign on the spot (huge money for this time) Dad politely declined as he first needed to speak to his Father Lindsay. Dad was then invited down to attend a Port home game and meet Fos Williams for a chat. Now can’t remember who it was but they didn’t impress Dad. He made up his mind that day that Port was not the club for him. He then trained with South before Norwood came knocking. He told this story when interviewed by KG and Cornesy on “where are they now” segment. Would be great to get a copy of this interview if anyone can help. RIP old boy!!

  39. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Matt and Smokie thank you.Damian I know exactly what you mean having organized past v present cricket game,Rodney thanked me for letting him no about the game and he always said hello each time I saw him.
    Joel our thoughts are v much with the Seekamp family.Clint thank you yes that was something I and I am sure others were unaware of,I contacted Leith Forrest but unfortunately,5aa didn’t keep copies before pre internet era all the best ! Thanks folks

  40. Clint Seekamp says

    Interview was around 2005 – post internet. Appreciate you trying.

  41. Regarding Rod’s lads’ comments about his wooing by Big Bob McLean and Fos Williams (and not being particularly impressed) a big rumour that went around the supporters a little after that time was that Rod Pope and Greg Nickolson came to Norwood mainly to get away from Fos Williams who was then Westies’ coach. Those 2 fitted in nicely with Woody, Rosser, Seekers, Kingo and co.

  42. Stan the Man says

    He was “our” JEZZA.
    Hammonds instruction to Jezza in the 75 GF was simple … Dont let Marker get goal side of you…the rest is history.
    Love your work Rulebook.

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