2017 has been an eventful year for Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley as well as the other surrounding towns we cover.

Here are some of the stories that have stood out in the last 12 months:


TERRIFIED pensioners were left traumatised after a spate of horror attacks in a few weeks http://bit.ly/2Ehf068.

A VIRUS outbreak caused the closure of three wards of a borough hospital over the previous festive period http://bit.ly/2CnDB8t.

ENA Mill in Atherton was given the go-ahead to double its retail space days after an office manager was jailed for three years for embezzling more than £150,000 from the company http://bit.ly/2BUp9nE.

Leigh Journal:

An artist's impression of the Ena Mill expansion plans

A YOUTH band invited to play Christmas carols at a supermarket were hit with car parking fines after playing at their free festive concert http://bit.ly/2EayGbE.


CARE home bosses were forced to review its security to ensure 'residents and staff feel safe and secure' after a 97-year-old woman with dementia was attacked and robbed in an early morning break-in http://bit.ly/2lrZhsi.

A CONMAN who helped a rogue landlord exploit more than 100 prospective tenants in order to rip them off along with insurers, a bank and councils has walked free from court http://bit.ly/2lk6zPr.

A FIVE-year-old boy who beat life-threatening cancer fulfilled his dream when he carried the ball on to the pitch for his beloved Leigh Centurions' first home game since returning to the Super League elite http://bit.ly/2lDIwvP.

Leigh Journal: Riley Agent with referee Jack Smith, his two touch judges and Leigh Centurions mascot Parky Pig

Riley Agent with referee Jack Smith, his two touch judges and Leigh Centurions mascot Parky Pig

ST Mary the Virgin Leigh Parish Church was left in a financial crisis following a £100,000 repair bill for the lead that was stolen from its roof in a series of thefts the previous summer http://bit.ly/2Cp2n8j.


A TEENAGER was convicted of stabbing a man to death over an unpaid drugs debt http://bit.ly/2Ci4SvH.

PATIENTS moved into the 'fantastic' new £40 million mental health hospital Atherleigh Park http://bit.ly/2n0fWCs.

Leigh Journal:

Atherleigh Park took two years to build

A SIXTH form opened as part of the Government’s flagship free school programme announced its impending closure after just four years http://bit.ly/2DzqDUJ.

THE mum of a seven-year-old boy who died from cancer last year condemned heartless yobs for destroying his memorial twice in a matter of days http://bit.ly/2zNfwVM.

A DAD-of-two who was saved from drowning off the coast of Turkey appeared on Dutch television to help present a bravery award to the man who rescued him http://bit.ly/2CbFWH0.

Leigh Journal:

Atherton couple Julie and Ian Reynard with Lt Ewout Sijl and his partner Lindsay Martens as the Dutch soldier is presented with the Carnegie Hero Fund bronze medal for bravery


A MAN accused of attacking Leigh Centurions player Danny Tickle and leaving him with serious head injuries was cleared in court http://bit.ly/2lrwOm9.

BRITAIN'S secret weapon living on the Falklands Islands when the war with Argentina broke out in 1982 described meeting up with his former comrades as one of the best days of his life http://bit.ly/2DCKano.

Leigh Journal: Falklands War hero Jim Fairfield wearing his Royal Marines medals at the 35th anniversary reunion regimental dinner at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth

Falklands War hero Jim Fairfield wearing his Royal Marines medals at the 35th anniversary reunion regimental dinner at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth

TRANSPORT bosses admitted plans for a railway station to be built to serve Leigh and Lowton could be back on track http://bit.ly/2lpyT2Z.

ANDY Burnham confirmed he would be stepping down as MP for Leigh after 16 years of serving the town and 'giving his all' for the community http://bit.ly/2EhwPBT.


A BID to save The Rose Centre in Lowton as a popular hub failed after a six-month period which invited community groups to bid for the property passed with no offers http://bit.ly/2EmnUz5.

FORMER Leigh MP Andy Burnham was elected as the first mayor of Greater Manchester and vowed to use his new powers to help the town that elected him into parliament http://bit.ly/2DBC4LI.

A FATHER and daughter duet wowed judges on Britain's Got Talent with an operatic performance of The Prayer http://bit.ly/2zPKqNf.

Leigh Journal:

Faye and Martin Gregory-Lambert

A COUPLE were hailed 'absolute heroes' after leading people to safety following a suicide bomb attack during an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in which 22 people lost their lives http://bit.ly/2C21amx.


A MAN was left fighting for life in hospital after being attacked outside a Leigh nightclub http://bit.ly/2CfLkch.

A POLICEMAN from Atherton is one of a number of officers who was given counselling for the horrors he witnessed at the Manchester Arena terror attack http://bit.ly/2DCnl32.

Leigh Journal:

British Transport Police officer Phil Healy with his seven-year-old police dog Mojo at Manchester Victoria station, which is close to where the bomb was detonated

A MAN was arrested after firefighters rescued a family-of-four from a flat fire http://bit.ly/2CqaaFi.

JO Platt becomes the first female MP to represent Leigh with Chris Green retaining his seat to continue to serve Atherton http://bit.ly/2loc93t and http://bit.ly/2lpa9Ys.

THE parents of a teenager killed by her abusive boyfriend were awarded MBEs for their tireless campaign work about raising awareness of domestic abuse http://bit.ly/2DAITgl.

Leigh Journal:

Sheila and Trevor Fairhurst being presented with their MBE awards in November by Prince William at Buckingham Palace. Picture: PA

A HEAVILY pregnant woman celebrating her first wedding anniversary was left heartbroken after car thieves stole the only DVD copies of her big day http://bit.ly/2Cr6hgW.


TRIBUTES flooded in for an amateur rugby player who died playing the game he loved with thousands of pounds raised for his family http://bit.ly/2CtlqOZ and http://bit.ly/2lwlndb.

Leigh Journal:

Adam ‘Carney’ Cooper was 'well-liked' by everyone at Leigh East

AN 'impulsive' man high on Spice accidentally set himself on fire after pouring petrol over his car to start the blaze http://bit.ly/2q0kWgK.

A COUNCILLOR and a campaign group vowed to fight plans for the high-speed HS2 line to run through their village http://bit.ly/2EifQiV.

A SELF-confessed 'monster' was jailed for 12 years after being convicted of historic sexual offences against four young girls http://bit.ly/2CbOyNE.


A MAN was arrested in connection with trying to abduct a 13-year-old girl in a park http://bit.ly/2DCEutx.

A MASKED man carrying an axe poured petrol over a supermarket employee and threatened to set him on fire during an attempted robbery http://bit.ly/2CrZsMd.

INSPIRATIONAL mum-of-three Polly Haydock died after losing her battle with cancer and more than £220,000 was raised to fund treatment for her in Germany including events hosted by comedian Peter Kay http://bit.ly/2Cezu21 and http://bit.ly/2EkzzP8.

Leigh Journal:

Mum-of-three Polly Haydock

A SELF-taught genius who has never spent a single school celebrated after gaining an A* in GCSE Maths at the age of 10 http://bit.ly/2q0URhD.

A MUM-of-five was left heartbroken after a memorial to her dad and grandad was ruined by yobs for the third time http://bit.ly/2CoIYqM.


THIEVES caught on camera raiding an animal rescue centre were labelled 'pondscum' http://bit.ly/2ElHqvN.

THE community rallied to give a primary school a much needed makeover http://bit.ly/2CgqgC4.

A FIREMAN was left fighting for his life in a Spanish hospital after suffering multiple injuries within six hours of landing on his stag do in Magaluf http://bit.ly/2DADExk.

HISTORIC community hub Formby Hall was demolished after it was controversially sold by Wigan Council in cost-cutting plans despite the building being 'gifted to the people of Atherton' 100 years ago http://bit.ly/2losHrX.

Leigh Journal:

Diggers knocking down Formby Hall on Alder Street in Atherton. Picture: Stuart Gerrard

AROUND 100 people went to Pennington Park Flash Country Park to complete a fun run for a grandad-of-six who died there six days earlier http://bit.ly/2Ek0smj.


LEIGH Centurions vowed to shake off the gut-wrenching disappointment of relegation and come back stronger for the good of their town and fans http://bit.ly/2CmjPg3.

A DAREDEVIL grandmother recovering from knee replacement surgery leapt out of a plane at 15,000ft minutes after hearing her instructor had died in a skydive http://bit.ly/2Crhuhw.

Leigh Journal:

Moira 'Scottie' Peter, 80, after plummeting 15,000ft to the ground at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham 

A WOMAN received a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering her girlfriend following a brutal campaign of domestic abuse http://bit.ly/2CoZIOi.

POLICE launched an investigation into finding a 'disgraceful' motorist after a cyclist was left with horrific injuries following a hit-and-run on a country lane http://bit.ly/2BXrC0G.


A FORMER fire commander urged residents who knew the identity of yobs who were attacking firefighters to report them to the police http://bit.ly/2lwIpk5.

THE rugby league community were left mourning after the death of former Leigh player and big personality Geoff 'Piggy' Fletcher http://bit.ly/2Cncmxm.

Leigh Journal:

Geoff Fletcher

RESIDENTS rallied round to raise money to pay for a well-liked homeless man's funeral who died on his 31st birthday http://bit.ly/2logF1U.

THE sons of a 'kind-hearted man' battling a rare autoimmune disorder vowed to take on a series of challenges in a bid to help him fulfil his dream of walking again http://bit.ly/2lpxWrz.

TWO iconic buildings in Lowton, The Rose Centre and the St Catherine of Siena Church, were in the process of being demolished http://bit.ly/2BZvMVy.

Leigh Journal:

Diggers taking down The Rose Centre building in Lowton

LEIGH Film Society beat competition from 2,000 other entries to be named the best in the country as well as scooping two other awards http://bit.ly/2BXJdp4.

AROUND 100 people completed a 13-mile sponsored 'gin jaunt' walk to The Christie as part of a campaign to raise money for a mum-of-three who lost the sight in her left eye due to cancer http://bit.ly/2Cro3AP.

WORK to give Leigh town centre's main shopping street, Bradshawgate, a facelift was completed as part of a £1 million investment announced earlier this year http://bit.ly/2DB2AVk and http://bit.ly/2EkV1mM.

Leigh Journal:

Bradshawgate after its recent renovation work. Picture: David Leather Photography

TRIBUTES poured in after the death of Leigh's record try scorer and 'legend on and off the pitch' Mick Martyn http://bit.ly/2CmmUg7 and http://bit.ly/2loqjkO.

Leigh Journal:

Leigh's record try-scorer Mick Martyn


A HEART-warming tribute was organised by school pupils for their classmate Tyler Yates who died after suffering with brain tumours http://bit.ly/2q2merl.

LEIGH was confirmed as the borough's choice for a Greater Manchester project to provide funding for regeneration http://bit.ly/2EjxNxp.

A £50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a schoolgirl's killer was offered by police on the 33rd anniversary of her death http://bit.ly/2lozxxI.

Leigh Journal:

Lisa Hession was killed in Leigh at the age of 14 in 1984

AN ex police officer was jailed with seven other people after £85,000 worth of cannabis was seized from two properties in Leigh http://bit.ly/2CslkY0.

A MUM whose son was killed by a drunk motorist urged people not to drink and drive over the festive period http://bit.ly/2Cgp7KU.

A STAND-up comedienne behind 32 comedy shows in aid of homeless people pledged to turn it into an annual and international initiative http://bit.ly/2BWXXo5.

A GANG of heroin and crack cocaine dealers – including nine from Leigh and one from Tyldesley – were jailed for a total of more than 68 years http://bit.ly/2DBWMv1.

THE new owner of a historic chapel confirmed plans are in place for a nursery to be opened at the site http://bit.ly/2Cn8QmJ.