Leigh boss Rowley proud to be part of heritage celebrations

Leigh's special heritage shirt which will be worn against Workington
Leigh's special heritage shirt which will be worn against Workington

PAUL Rowley says his players can’t help but be inspired by Leigh’s Heritage Day this Saturday.

The game against Workington was designated Heritage Day earlier this season and will coincide with the launch of the club’s heritage numbers which have been compiled by Leigh fan and author Mike Latham.

There are events before and after the game celebrating the club’s proud history as one of the founder members of the Rugby Football League in 1895.

More than 100 former players are expected to attend the game including the surviving members of the Challenge Cup winning side from 1971.

Earlier this month, a special dinner kicked off the celebrations while last week the heritage kit was presented to the players at a fan event.

“All the heritage events have been fantastic and have instilled a sense of belonging for our current squad,” said Rowley who made his Leigh debut as a teenager.

“It was a privilege to attend the launch dinner and share a room with so many other players from different eras. We all had a common theme and our past players led by Jason Donohue have been so supportive all year.

“Leigh has a proud history and a proud present and both have come together - the past players appreciate the current players are doing and likewise the current players are so respectful of their predecessors.”

Leigh’s players will wear a special red and white hooped shirt featuring the town coat of arms and the heritage number of that player. Unusually in this day and age, there are no sponsors on the kit which is completed by dark blue shorts and socks which the club wore in their early days.

Rowley hopes the people of Leigh will come out in numbers and create a special atmosphere for what is the club’s final home league game of the season.

“It would be great to see a big crowd for this special day,” said Rowley. “There are lots of activities going on this Saturday and although the players will be oblivious to it all as they prepare for the game, they can’t help be inspired by pulling on those retro shirts and playing in front of some Leigh legends.”