Gary Seaton was a Wynnum Manly Seagulls junior that loved his Seagulls, then a Norths Devil for Baxy, and back to a Seagull.
The Devils half moved into the forwards and won a competition with the Seagulls in 1982 and etched his name in Wynnum folklore, having won the Norths player of the year in 1977 and 1978 and the First ANZ colt of the year in 1975. Seaton did plenty of things in his career.
Gary Seaton Q&A
You’re a Wynnum boy that got to play for the Seagulls, that’s got to be a source of pride?
"Huge pride, I was a Wynnum boy. My grandma’s house backed onto BMD Kougari Oval so I would stand in the back yard and watch the A grade. My dad played for Wynnum too. All I wanted to do was play for Wynnum. My debut was Souths at Davies Park and I was only 17 and pretty nervous to be honest, but I had a lot of good players around me like Ron Milne and John Rhodes."
Why the move to Norths?
"That was all about Bob Bax. He rang me at home and said 'what are your plans for next year in 1977?'. I was happy to have a chat, so we met at Norths and he made an offer and I thought it was time for a change. Tommy Bishop was at Norths and Bob Bax was pretty persuasive."
What’s your best Bob Bax story?
"I applied to have a home loan and after a few weeks I hadn’t heard from them. Baxy asked me at training 'what was happening with that house?'. I said 'I haven’t heard'. Baxy asked which bank and I said ANZ - he said I will look after it. He’s gone into the bank and spoken to the manager and my loan was approved that day. I got a phone call that afternoon. Baxy knew the manager from somewhere and went in there. With Baxy, it’s best you don’t ask how he did things."
Your great mate Darryl Brohman - give us your best story.
"At Lang Park, Darryl did his shoulder and needed it fixed. The doctor wanted to rip it back in and got a few of us to lay on him while he put the shoulder back in. It seemed reasonable to me, so I am laying on his legs so he can’t move while the doctor reefs his shoulder up. I am not sure it was a medically sound procedure, but Darryl screamed like a bull and I am flying through the air. Players today don’t know how good they have it with doctors and trainers. In 1982, I dislocated my thumb and it was out at right angles, the trainer has said 'I will put it back in' and yanked it like a gear stick. The next morning my whole hand was so sore that I went and saw my local doctor and he has said 'you are here about your thumb'. I asked 'how did you know?'. He said 'I was at the game yesterday and saw the trainer nearly pull your shoulder off with your thumb'. We got an x-ray and it was broken in two places. The trainer had broken it yanking it around, as well as the original break."
Then back to Wynnum and 1980 you get to play with Des and Rod Morris and a move to the forwards.
"I played in the forwards at Norths a few times, but not too much, then one day Henry Holloway picked me at half and Des Morris in the front row. Des Morris hated playing front row and liked playing in the back row. We get to the first scrum so I pick up the ball to feed the scrum and Des Morris says give it to Peter Dawes. I said 'Henry said' and Des explained Henry was coach in the shed and he was coach on the field, so I was in the front row. I went to Tamworth to captain-coach for a year and then wanted to come back to Brisbane in 1980, so I have rung Norths and Baxy and then Wynnum. Henry Holloway was coaching Wynnum now and he was keen to have me, so I am back at Wynnum. Wynnum offered me a $150 a win and Baxy said 'we can’t compete with that'."
Everything leads to the 1982 grand final after 1981 when Wynnum make the finals and win the Presidents Cup over Redcliffe 17-10. Did you sense something special coming?
"They said to me they had Colin Scott coming over from Easts and Gene Miles coming down from Townsville and Des Morris had been there as captain-coach and Rod Morris would be back in 1982, so things seemed to be headed in the right direction."
You retire at the end of 1982 when you would have only been 27 and just won a competition, Wynnum on a roll. Why didn’t you hang around?
"I went in to get paid in October 1982, just won the competition so I probably skipped in there ready to collect. I was on $150 a win and before the grand final, Wynnum said win and we will double it. We won and then when I went in to get paid in October it turns out they didn’t have the money and that promise wasn’t authorised. It was there on my pay grand final - $150. Then there was a strapping tape fee and I said 'I don’t wear strapping tape'. No, everyone gets charged the same no matter what they wear. Ok seems reasonable. They tried to say play again and even said we are getting new sponsors and we will be able to pay you $300 a win. I thought, I have heard this before about 10 minutes ago. I said 'I am 27. I am done, boys'."
Did you keep your 1982 grand final jumper?
"I gave it to my son. But my favourite ever piece of gear wasn’t mine. I was at training one night and Lew Platz has his Australian shorts on. I said to him 'look at those, they are magnificent'. After training he’s walked past me and taken them off and said 'here have them', walked to his car in his undies. They were the best shorts I ever owned. I loved them. I wore them everywhere."