Dashing on the field and off it, Liam Kay has been turning heads all season.
He certainly grabbed Leigh’s attention while on loan with Doncaster last year, scoring a hat-trick of tries as Centurions won 36-30 at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“Liam was a thorn in our side that day,” said Leigh boss Paul Rowley. “Not only did he impress me with a hat-trick of tries, it was the variety of them too. He hit the line like a second rower for one while on another he showed the out and out pace of a winger.”
Kay has been a virtual ever present for Leigh this season with a formidable strike rate marking him out as one of the Kingstone Press Championship’s most potent attackers. On Sunday he will line up against Doncaster as Centurions bid to equal the club record for most consecutive wins - 14.
This is already Leigh’s best ever start to the season - 13 wins in all competitions sees them seven points clear at the top of the Championship and in the last eight of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
Kay arrived at Leigh from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats though spent much of last season with Doncaster.
“They are a good group at Doncaster,” said Kay. “I enjoyed my time there and became good friends with their coach Paul Cooke and I’m especially looking forward to going to the Keepmoat Stadium again.”
But Kay is loving life with Leigh and so he should when you discover he has family links with the town.
“My grandad on my mum’s side who sadly passed away was from Leigh so I have a lot of relatives who live locally,” he said. “And apparently I’m related to Tommy Goulden (Leigh forward) somewhere along the line but I might have to dig a bit deeper to find out how.
“I am really enjoying my time with Leigh. We have such a good bunch of players here that I have been able to slot straight in.
“Team morale is really good and we have a great coach in Paul Rowley who is there for us on and off the field. It’s probably the best club I’ve been at.
“Our fans have been brilliant and have really welcomed me, especially when they’ve turned up in numbers for the big games like Featherstone and Halifax.
“I think we are unstoppable on our day. When Ryan Brierley and Martyn Ridyard click the whole team clicks.”
In pre-season, Kay played in a variety of positions and some may have been surprised that he looks so at home on the wing when he was widely regarded as a half-back. But for Kay and Rowley, where he plays isn’t the issue.
“I actually don’t feel out of place on the wing,” said Kay. “I played there with Wakefield but I just like getting my hands on the ball every chance I get.”
Rowley believes Kay is now so important to the team that it really doesn’t matter where he plays.
“I’m actually not sure of his best position,” admitted Rowley. “But he’s that good I think we could play him anywhere and he’d pose a threat. From my point of view I just want him on the field because he’s got that enthusiasm, bravery and confidence.
“He’s a cocky character and great in the dressing room.”