Zak Hardaker believes owner Derek Beaumont deserves all the praise for Leigh’s success as they prepare for the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
Flamboyant owner Beaumont prompted widespread ridicule for ditching the club’s Centurions name last October to unleash the club as the Leopards on their return to Super League.
A complete rebrand left Beaumont and the club a laughing stock with rival fans who have since been silenced by the team’s stunning run of form that has taken them to Wembley and a top four place in the playoff race.
Beaumont even turned up for their stunning semi-final win over St Helens having had his trademark Lamborghini resprayed in leopard print to match his clothing and the team kit.
Such brash statements need to be backed up with performances and so far the team has risen to the challenge, inspired perhaps as much by a winning mentality as they are the promise of win bonuses.
But regardless of his methods, Leigh ace Hardaker believes Beaumont deserves the lions – or should that be leopards – share of plaudits for his vision, passion and faith.
Zak Hardaker: “There is method in his madness.”
“Derek is bonkers but in the nicest possible way,” Hardaker told Love Rugby League.
“There is method in his madness. When I wasn’t at Leigh I thought he was a bit too bonkers but everything he does has a purpose.
“The Leopard stuff and the Leopard print of his Lamborghini, it feels mad but he is savvy and that is probably why he has got loads of money.”
Hardaker insists Beaumont is far more than a flashy money man, and is in fact the heartbeat of the club and what it has been able to achieve.
“He is a brilliant owner to have and to see him every day at training so passionately speaking about how much he believes in us is a breath of fresh air.
“For me personally this year was about enjoyment and this is where it has led.”