Tom flies the flag for Leigh in New Zealand

Tom Jones in the Leigh shirt and fellow Centurions fan James Mann (in England shirt) watching England play New Zealand in Dunedin
Tom Jones in the Leigh shirt and fellow Centurions fan James Mann (in England shirt) watching England play New Zealand in Dunedin

DID you spot the Leigh shirt in the crowd when England took on New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday?

If you were watching the international game over your breakfast you may have spotted the old Centurions shirt in the mainly Kiwi crowd.

The jersey was being proudly worn by Leigh supporter Tom Jones who emigrated to Dunedin 22 years ago and considers himself an honorary Kiwi.

Known locally as Tom the Pom, he runs Crafty Beers in Tapanui but still follows the fortunes of the Centurions through the internet.

“I love watching the Kiwis play but seeing them against the team of my country of birth was difficult,” said Tom. “But with the Kiwis already through, I was cheering for England on Saturday.”

Tom was at the game with his wife, his in-laws and friends including James Mann - another Leigh fan, pictured in an England shirt just behind Tom - who travelled from the UK for the game.

Tom used to struggle to keep up with how Leigh were getting on when he first emigrated but the advent of the internet has made life a lot easier.

He can keep up to date with news online and can also tune in to some games through internet radio.

Leigh’s amazing season which saw them finish top of the Kingstone Press Championship before winning the Grand Final meant Tom was up at all hours trying to keep up with the team. He regularly posts on fans message boards and uses Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family.