Leigh pay tribute to Martyn Ridyard as he joins Swinton

Leigh stand-off Martyn Ridyard is to leave the club and join Championship rivals Swinton, after more than 2,000 points in 250 games.

Ridyard, 34, is the third highest points scorer in the Centurions’ history, making his debut back in 2009 in what was the first official game at Leigh Sports Village, where he had the honour of scoring the first try.

He spent a season away from the club with Featherstone in 2018, which followed a loan spell at Huddersfield in the previous campaign.

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Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said: “Martyn has been a great servant to Leigh Centurions and in mine and many people’s eyes will be regarded as a legend of the Club, akin to this era’s version of our legend John Woods.

“His point-scoring record speaks for itself and needs no testimony. More importantly, Martyn has been the consummate professional and no doubt will continue to be so – and that will last well beyond his playing years.

“He has had a massive contribution to the Club on and off the field and also to the town in general and in particular its amateur clubs. Martyn is also a player that hasn’t taken much from the club over his years of service and that is also testament to his loyalty to his home town team. Others have taken in a very short period what he has had over many years.

“I wish him all the success in his future and hope that our loyal fans will support what is left of his testimonial that has been severely hampered by the current pandemic. Martyn’s signing for Swinton is a big statement of their intent to progress in the division.

“They are a local club and have a local coach and Leyther in Stuart Littler. I wish them all the success except of course when they cross swords with us.”

Ridyard has signed a one-year deal with the Lions.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Lions. I get on really well with the coaching staff, and in fact I’ve known both Stuart Littler and Allan Coleman since I was a young lad.

“Every player I’ve spoken to has had nothing but great things to say about Swinton as a club. The Lions play an attractive style with the ball and under Stuart they have become a very good side.

“I’m really excited by the challenge which lies ahead and I feel that I’ve still got plenty to offer, so hopefully I can help the team progress further. I’m now looking forward to a big year ahead and to getting started with the boys.”

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