Martin Ridyard returns to Leigh

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Leigh have confirmed the return of Martin Ridyard from Featherstone.

Ridyard, 32, follows coach John Duffy to rejoin his hometown club, who he left in 2016 initially to Huddersfield on loan.

Duffy said: “Martyn is a big signing and a massive statement of our intent. He’s a local lad and our strategy is all about recruiting Leigh lads who want to play for the Club. I’m sure his signing will be highly popular with the fans and I’d like to thank Featherstone for working with us in Martyn’s best interests so he could come home.

“For family reasons Martyn wanted to cut down his travelling and time away from home and Featherstone have been really understanding with his position.

“I played alongside Martyn at Leigh and since I retired as a player have really seen him develop year on year. He is a very talented and clever footballer and is smart under pressure. He will be pivotal to our plans and as a big game player will lead from the front.

“Martyn was brilliant to coach at Fev last season and signing him for Leigh made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. He never wanted to leave Leigh in the first place so is made up to be coming home.”

Ridyard is Leigh’s third highest points scorer, with 1797 in 222 games since his debut in 2009.

He said: “Everything has happened really quickly and since the move was confirmed I’ve been feeling giddy.

“For me it’s all about unfinished business.

“I’ve only been away a year and never wanted to leave and so I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to come back. It makes it extra special.

“Playing under Duffs this year was brilliant and I can’t wait for the new season to start.

“Featherstone were really understanding with my reasons for wanting to leave which were based around family and travel issues. Mark Campbell is a great bloke and he and everyone at the club made me welcome from day one. The fans were brilliant with me and the season, playing under Duffs, was one of my most enjoyable as a player.

“We had a great team spirit at Fev and got some great wins early season and were sitting pretty until an injury crisis hit us. I played alongside some great lads and I wish the club nothing but the best in the future.”