STEVE “Iron” Maden will mark a fine rugby league career with his re-arranged testimonial game against Leigh East and Leigh Miners on Thursday night.
First teamers Andrew Dixon, Michael Platt, Jamie Tracey and last year’s joint Championship One Player of the Year Ben Reynolds are all set to turn out for Mado’s Centurions select side, who will take on Leigh East in the first half and then Miners in the second half at Leigh East Pavilion.
It’s the latest in a series of events in Maden’s testimonial year, which also include a “Paddy’s” night in March and a Golf Day.
He said: “It’s brilliant. I played quite a few years with Rowls (Paul Rowley) and he’s obviously the coach now, so you know time is ticking on when that happens!”
Maden started his career with Warrington at the age of 17, and made his Super League debut in 2003.
He signed for Leigh in 2004, and has been there virtually ever since, with the exception of two seasons at Whitehaven in 2006/07.
Ahead of Leigh’s enthralling Championship opening day win over Bradford, Maden spent some time with club sponsor Maxilead Metals, who showed him the ropes at their scrap metal recycling yard.
He added: “It’s massive to have the support of sponsors. It shows that companies, big or small, are still in touch with their local community, and you as a player.
“With many of the players having trades, building connections with places like Maxilead is important - I know Martin Ridyard has been down to a weigh a lot of stuff in, through his trade as a roofer.
“I’m a builder by trade. I’ve always been lucky in that my mum and dad sort of pushed me into a trade alongside my rugby, and on my days off when I was a full-time player, I’d go in and do some work.
“I’ve seen both sides of the coin. Obviously the money wasn’t great for players all those years ago, so I’m glad I’ve done it.”
As part of Maden’s testimonial, Maxilead Metals are offering 10 per cent extra on all scrap metal and will make a donation his testimonial fund if you say “Iron Maden” when weighing in.