Centurions’ prayers are with fan Stephen

Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley
Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley

Leigh Centurions say everyone at the club is thinking of Stephen O’Dwyer, the fan who took ill during Sunday’s game at Sheffield.

O’Dwyer is currently in intensive care at a Sheffield hospital and his story has touched the rugby league community.

A spokesman said: “We wish Stephen a speedy recovery and the thoughts and prayers of everyone associated with the Club are with him and his family at this time.”

O’Dwyer was Stephen was taken ill soon after kick-off against Sheffield Eagles at the Owlerton Stadium and needed emergency medical attention. The game was stopped for some time so the Sheffield club doctor could assist paramedics while two Eagles fans with medical training also helped.

Leigh coach Paul Rowley dedicated the Centurions’ record-breaking win over the Eagles to O’Dwyer. Club officials, players and staff have all been actively monitoring news of his condition. Leigh officials are in regular contact with O’Dwyer’s family and have offered their full support.

“I know Stephen personally and actually coached him when he was at Westleigh High School,” said Rowley. “Stephen was doing what he loved most- supporting Leigh. It’s what he’s done all his life, following Leigh is his passion. We’re all pulling for him. He is in our thoughts all the time.”

Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont added: “Our prayers and thoughts are with Stephen and we are all supporting him and his family. Stephen is a lifelong fan who puts the flags out at Leigh Sports Village. He is only a young man, 24 and is due to get married in October. We are in contact touch with Stephen’s family and offer our full support. We also need to thank the Sheffield fan who gave Stephen CPR until the team doctor arrived at the scene. We greatly value and appreciate their professionalism and assistance.

“The Leigh Club, on behalf of the O’Dwyer family would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support of the Rugby League family at this time. Social media has been awash with messages, not only from Leigh players and supporters but those from many other clubs throughout the game. This show of unity and concern is a tremendous source of comfort to the family at this difficult time.”