Centurions make prom night extra special for Melissa

Leigh Centurions players Ryan Brierley and Fuifui Moimoi with fan Melissa Boardman before her high school prom
Leigh Centurions players Ryan Brierley and Fuifui Moimoi with fan Melissa Boardman before her high school prom

A TEENAGE Leigh Centurions superfan got the surprise of her life when two of her favourite players turned up to wave her off to her prom.

Melissa Boardman, of Irvine Street, was stunned when Ryan Brierley and Fuifui Moimoi arrived at her home to meet her and have pictures taken before the leaving celebrations for Bedford High School’s year 11 pupils.

The 16-year-old has been supporting the Centurions for more than a decade and now goes to increasing numbers of away matches as well as having her season ticket at the Leigh Sports Village (LSV).

Melissa said: “I was standing outside my house with all my family and friends when I saw Ryan’s car come around the corner.

“He and Fui got out and when they started walking towards me I just couldn’t believe they had come to have pictures taken for my prom and see me off. I was speechless.

“Ryan was asking me about my prom and how I was getting there and then they had the pictures with everyone. It was great because Ryan and Fui are two of my favourite players.”

The surprise visit was a memorable moment for many of Melissa’s friends and family who were waiting to see her off to the prom at Worsley’s Marriott Hotel, with several Leigh Centurions fans keen to meet the scrum half and prop.

The visit was arranged by Melissa’s mum Diane, who contacted Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont to see if the club could help make her daughter’s prom day that little bit more special.

Diane, 40, said: “Melissa has supported Leigh since she was little and she gets to every match she can, so I contacted Derek and asked if he thought he could do something special for her prom.

“It was a bit nerve-racking and I was wondering if they were here with every car that went past, but it was great when they arrived and Melissa was really emotional.

“Quite a few of her family are Centurions fans too so it was a shock and a nice surprise for everybody.

“It’s nice the club thinks about things like this. I thought it might not be possible as the players are busy but Derek made it happen and it was lovely for Melissa.”

After meeting Ryan and Fui Melissa went to a friend’s house to make the journey to the prom in a limousine.

She is now preparing to begin studying music at Wigan and Leigh College in September.