THE campaign to build a statue of a Leigh rugby league legend outside the club’s stadium is gathering pace.
A group of fans recently launched a bid to raise £30,000 to put a permanent bronze tribute to stand-off John Woods, Leigh’s all-time record points scorer, on the plaza outside the Leigh Sports Village (LSV).
So far the campaign has raised several thousand pounds through events including a bicycle ride visiting all the grounds Woods played for during his illustrious career.
Leigh club legend Des Drummond also joined former Great Britain international Garry Schofield and Wigan star Brett Kenny at Leigh East for a question-and-answer session to boost the fund-raising effort last week.
The campaign has been backed by current Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley and numerous ex-pros who all got in the saddle for the 110-mile ride which was dubbed the Tour de Woody as well as Wigan Council.
Leigh Centurions Players’ Association chair Jason Donohue, who came up with the idea for the statue, said: “When we get all the sponsorship money in we could be at about the £4,000 or £5,000 mark and we’ve had promises of more donations.
“It’s all coming together and it’s an exciting time. People are supporting it because of John Woods, he’s such a humble and laid-back man.
“I’ve been speaking to him and he’s wondering why there’s all this fuss but it’s out of respect for what people think of him.
“The bike ride was brilliant. We had a guy who played in the late 1980s with John and turned up with an old racing bike. He got to Warrington absolutely sweating and admitted it was hard work on this old, heavy bike but he wouldn’t get in the support van, he wouldn’t pack the ride in and did the whole route for John.”
The campaigners are looking to raise around £30,000 for the 10ft sculpture of Woods, who scored 2,492 points in his 16 years playing for the club in two spells.
To find or more or donate, search for the John Woods Statue page on Facebook, or visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/JOHN-WOODS-STATUE