Leigh Centurions owner and head of rugby Derek Beaumont has paid tribute to ex-Leigh head coach Paul Rowley and expects him to return to rugby league very soon.
The sport of rugby league was left shocked as Rowley decided to leave the Centurions in late January, with the ex-Leigh star citing personal reasons for his departure.
The Centurions had strengthened massively in the off-season as they try to get into Super League in 2016, and Derek Beaumont has stated his sadness at not having Paul Rowley with Leigh to try and continue that goal.
“One thing I never thought I would do in my role owning the club was appoint a new head coach, it’s just something I didn’t envisage having to do,” Beaumont told the Leigh Observer in his weekly column.
“However nothing is forever and you cannot predict what is round the corner. While Paul Rowley decided to leave the club for his own personal reasons I want to use this space pay him the respect I feel he deserves.
“Rolls (Rowley) was the very personal that got me back involved at the club and I really enjoyed my time working with him, and savouring some great moments together.”
Beaumont also admitted to being a fan of Rowley long before having a working relationship with the 40 year-old.
“Rolls was my favourite Leigh player when I was a sponsor in 2002,” he said.
“He wore his heart on his sleeve was a real tough competitor that never took a backward step. He is a Leigh lad, very proud of the town and the club and the fact that his father before him played for the club – something not many dad and lads can boast.”
Beaumont has also offered his opinion that Rowley is destined for bigger things in the game, and wishes him all the best for the future.
“I have always stated I think he would be successful at whatever level he operated and I genuinely believe that,” he said.
“I have been privileged to have shared these last two seasons with him and am disappointed that there won’t be more with him at the helm.
“He goes out with his head held high in my opinion as a very successful and passionate coach who has certainly been a very positive influence on Leigh Centurions, and can most certainly look back and be proud that he left it in a far better position than he found it. Good luck Rolls.”