Tributes paid to Tommy Martyn Senior

Leigh Centurions
Leigh Centurions

Former Leigh second rower Tommy Martyn Senior has died at the age of 69 after a short illness.

Martyn first joined Leigh in 1971 and appeared an impressive 97 times over three years, and was a club legend despite being part of a constantly changing team that suffered relegation in 1974.

Martyn moved to Warrington in 1975 where he quickly became regarded as one of the games’ greatest second row forwards. He played 220 times for Warrington, scored 51 tries and kicked one goal.

Martyn re-joined Leigh at the start of the 1981-82 season for arguably their most memorable season in which they saw Lancashire Cup final success over Widnes, which was followed by winning the Championship, something that Leigh had only done once before in 1906.

It is often thought of as Tommy’s best season, forming the backbone of arguably Leigh’s finest team of all time which included the likes of John Woods, Des Drummond, Phil Fox, Terry Bilsbury, Mick Hogan and Steve Dolan.

Tommy’s final game against Warrington Wolves saw him leave an enduring legacy at Leigh.

He played a huge part in their triumph with an astounding display of ball-handling and second row play and Leigh won 44-20.

In total Tommy played 165 games for Leigh, scoring 23 tries.

Former Leigh hooker Kevin Ashcroft said: “He was one of the best players the town has ever produced and a gentleman.

“Shy, unobtrusive, unassuming, but a genius on the Rugby League field. For all he achieved in the game, that Championship season at Leigh was his proudest moment, without a doubt. Another legend of the game has gone, and I don’t use the word legend lightly.”

Tommy Senior was part of the Martyn dynasty that produced three of the most talented players of the post war year, all of whom served the club with distinction.