Leigh Centurions: Former director chips in to help Woods statue appeal

Pub Landlord Bill Parkinson from The Pendle Witch in Atherton, who was a former Leigh Rugby League Club Director has donated �2,000 towards the statue of club legend John Woods
Pub Landlord Bill Parkinson from The Pendle Witch in Atherton, who was a former Leigh Rugby League Club Director has donated �2,000 towards the statue of club legend John Woods

A WELL-known businessman has given the campaign to build a statue of a Leigh rugby league legend a major boost.

Former director at Hilton Park Bill Parkinson has chipped in £2,000 to the ongoing effort to put a 10ft likeness of stand-off John Woods on the plaza outside the Leigh Sports Village (LSV).

Mr Parkinson, who previously owned Lifting Gear Hire, made the donation to the campaign to honour Leigh’s all-time record points scorer after speaking fondly of his time on the club board, which included bringing in Australian head coach Steve Simms.

Mr Simms was among a group of ex-Leigh players who gathered at Mr Parkinson’s Pendle Witch pub in Atherton for the cheque presentation.

Mr Parkinson said: “John Woods ended his career while I was on the board. When I heard of the fund-raising efforts being put into place, I was more than happy to make a contribution.

“John was arguably the best player to wear the Leigh shirt.”

Mr Parkinson’s generous donation now takes the campaign, which needs to raise £30,000 to erect the bronze statue, to well over the £5,000 mark.

He is no longer directly involved at the LSV but spends his time playing golf and developing his Moorhouse brewery. He has also penned his autobiography Lifting the World, set for publication in November.

The campaign to put a statue of Woods outside the club’s current stadium has captured the imagination of Leythers since the idea was floated by Leigh Players’ Association chair Jason Donohue.

The campaigners are hoping to unveil the finished sculpture next year to mark Woods’ 60th birthday.

Fund-raising events which have already taken place include a Q&A evening at Leigh East with a panel including Leigh legend Des Drummond.