LEIGH’S heroes of today got a history lesson when they attended a special event at the Sports Village to launch the club’s heritage kit last night.
The likes of Liam Kay, Ryan Brierley and Martyn Ridyard watched archive footage of Leigh legends including John Woods, Des Drummond and Jimmy Ledgard before receiving their heritage shirt which will be worn next Saturday against Workington Town.
It was the second of three major events which have been organised to mark the publication of the club’s heritage numbers. The first was a sold-out dinner last Friday where many past players received a memento inscribed with their heritage number. The final celebration will be on August 30 when Leigh play Workington.
Several teams have allocated heritage numbers to their players in recent years including Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors. They have also been adopted by other sports such as cricket and football.
By going back through the record books, a player is allocated a number unique to them which represents the order in which they made their debut for the club.
After years of painstaking and exhaustive research, Leigh fan and author Mike Latham has been able to publish the numbers in a special limited edition brochure which is on sale now, priced £5.
On Wednesday evening, players from the current Leigh squad were presented with their heritage shirt by head of rugby Derek Beaumont and coach Paul Rowley. Much to his surprise, Latham was also presented with a shirt from the club as a mark of its appreciation. A film produced by Fred Parkinson of Centurions TV was also shown and Latham gave a talk on some of the extensive research he carried out to complete the project.
Centurions will wear a special edition red and white hooped shirt and blue shorts for the game against Workington - a throwback to the design of a much earlier age. Unusually, there will be no sponsors on the shirt and each will feature the heritage number of the player wearing it under the town coat of arms. The kit has been produced by Leigh’s teamwear supplier O’Neills.
A small number of the shirts are available to buy from the club’s retail unit in Leigh Market.