“It was like we never left” – returning to grounds from a fan’s perspective

Leigh fan Jack Hodgkiss was over the moon to return to his beloved Leigh Sports Village on Monday in what was a special night for rugby league.

Supporters returned to rugby league in the UK for the first time in 429 days on Monday night.

Hodgkiss was fortunate enough to be among the 1,700 spectators inside the Leigh Sports Village to watch his Centurions go up against neighbours Wigan.

“It was amazing to be back in the ground,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to have a pre-match meal and half-time refreshments in the lounge so that was a nice touch for the first game back.

“It was strange with all the precautions at the start with the heat thermometer on entrance but once we were in it was like we never left. I can’t wait to get back in the North Stand at the LSV next week.

“I have missed devoting my full day to matchday, meeting the lads early doors for food and pre-match beers then cheering on the lads.”

Fans watch the warm ups from the stands before the Betfred Super League match at Leigh Sports Village, Leigh

Hodgkiss, who also owns clothing brand Gripz with Warrington forward Joe Philbin, says he has missed the social side of attending matches.

He added: “As previously mentioned, us lads devote our day to gameday by meeting early for food and drinks, straight to the match and then beers afterwards usually.

“Its great to see the fellow season ticket holders too who we haven’t seen throughout lockdown.

“The Leigh fans are one big family and are all rugby mad. Win or lose, they all clap the lads off and are loud and proud.”

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