Former Great Britain hooker Micky Higham has called time on his 19-year playing career.
The 37-year-old made over 500 appearances after making his debut for Leigh in 1999, enjoying successful spells with St Helens, Wigan and Warrington before returning to his hometown club in 2015.
His final appearance came in the Million Pound Game as the Centurions dropped out of Super League following their defeat by Catalans Dragons.
Higham will remain with Leigh in an off-field role and has been given the opportunity to bid farewell to the club’s fans in a pre-season friendly in January.
“I started my rugby league journey at Leigh as a teenager and to go full circle and come back to finish my playing career at the club meant everything to me,” said Higham, who made four appearances for both Great Britain and England.
“I’ll never forget the reception the Leigh fans gave me when I made my second debut for the club at the Summer Bash in 2015, nearly 15 years after leaving.
“The supporters have been absolutely fantastic to me and I’d like to thank each and every one of them for the backing they have given me throughout my career.
“It was a dream to captain the club back into Super League and to captain them in Super League. They are the proudest moments of my career.
“If I can play a part in bringing through the next generation of players and helping support all the off-field departments to achieve our goals, it will rank with anything I achieved as a player.”
Higham won three Challenge Cups with Warrington and the 2002 Super League Grand Final as a Saints player.
He has accepted a job as part of Leigh’s coaching team and will also work in the club’s community department.
Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said: “The home friendly game in January will be an ideal way to give Micky the swansong he deserves for all he achieved as a player in the game, in front of his own supporters.
“In the end the club will always have to be bigger than any owner, coach or player and what is good for the club will always be the primary focus.
“But Micky Higham is part of the DNA and I am sure he will enjoy a long and fruitful career in his new role to the benefit of all parties.
“Micky has so much to offer the club over future years in many ways and can still add his passion, commitment and leadership skills in the coaching side.