A GROUP of Leigh Centurions supporters have united in aid of their beloved club.

The club suffered financial problems following the disappointment of missing out on promotion back to the Betfred Super League last season after dropping down from the top division the year before.

In order to alleviate the pressure on the Centurions, lifelong fan David Raines asked fellow followers to donate funds to a scheme to pay for sponsorship for players for the upcoming season.

The scheme amassed more than £2,500 to sponsor forwards Nick Gregson and Andy Brackek.

David, 49, from Leigh, said: "As supporters, we just wanted to do something to help the club.

"There was a post on a Facebook group asking if there was something fans could do to support the club.

"I put a post online on Sunday, December 23 asking people to pay £25 in order to win a signed shirt and would go towards sponsoring a player at the club.

"Within a day enough money had been donated to sponsor one player.

"Then the following week, on Sunday, December 30, I put another post online and again enough money was raised in a day to sponsor another player.

"The support for the club is fantastic especially with it being this time of the year when money is short after Christmas.

"It shows how much the people of Leigh want to help their club."

The group set up to sponsor the players is called Leigh Centurions Fans Forum Player Sponsorship.

David watches the Centurions in the North Stand, and goes to the match with his 17-year-old twin daughters, Emma and Hannah, as well as other friends.

He has fond memories of watching the club when they were crowned the best team in the country in 1982 after winning the Rugby Football League Championship First Division.

David says fans are optimistic about the new season with the arrival of a flood of signings including some familiar faces.

He added: "A lot of people are feeling positive about the new season.

"I think some of that is the effect of signing a lot of local players who we believe will care more about the club than others when they are playing for us."

A comedy night at Leigh Miners Welfare Institute on Kirby Road on Friday March 1 at 7pm has also been organised to raise more funds for player sponsorship.

Four comedians and a compere will be performing on the night.

Those who contributed to the sponsorship of the Centurions duo will be in with a chance of winning a signed shirt in a raffle that was included in their contribution.

Tickets for the comedy night are priced at £10 plus a small booking fee.

To book a ticket or for more information about the gig click here.