LEIGH Centurions have vowed to shake off the gut-wrenching disappointment of relegation and come back stronger for the good of their fans and the town.

The Centurions slipped through the Super League trap door with a 26-10 home defeat to Catalans Dragons in Saturday's Million Pound Game.

Various players and staff are now worried about having to lose their jobs and a range of businesses are preparing for a loss of revenue while the Centurions play outside the top flight for at least the next year.

But club owner Derek Beaumont has moved to reassure Leythers that the club will bounce back and his battle cry has been echoed by players and politicians.

He said: "It's not a disaster. We are still here to carry on fighting. We'll regather.

"I'll take something from the fact we finished 11th in our first season back in Super League and we'll build on that.

"The Championship is not an unknown place. We are going somewhere where we came from, so it's almost like going back home."

Hooker Micky Higham, who is the skipper of his beloved hometown club, added: “Leigh is a massive rugby league town.

“The passion for the game here is incredible. The club is such an important part of the fabric of everyday life here.

“You look at the sponsors we have, and we have had some brilliant news in recent days with main sponsors pledging their support at increased values for next season irrespective of what division we are in.

“That sends out a very powerful message not only to the people of Leigh but to the game as a whole that we are here to stay and that we will build each year and become a big player and an established force at the top level of the game for years to come.

"You look at the season and the way the club has adapted to life as a fully fledged Super League club and I think we have made fantastic progress."

Leigh MP Jo Platt and her predecessor, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, were both at the do-or-die game to cheer the Centurions on.

They are convinced they will not have to wait long to see Leigh battling it out with Europe's elite again.

Miss Platt said: "The Centurions will always play a huge part in our community, bringing families together on match days, supporting our local groups and exemplifying what it is to be a Leyther.

"I have no doubt that with the support of the amazing fans and determination of the club we will bounce back from the Championship and see Super League here again in Leigh."

Mr Burnham, honorary vice president of the Centurions, added: “There were around 8,000 people at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, who were all pretty much Leythers, which shows we can fill that ground.

"All the factors add up to Leigh being a Super League club.

“The effort has got to go into bouncing back now, which is critical.

"Being in the top league benefits the club and the town on all levels.

“There have been lots of positives to take this season with victories over big sides and next time we go up I think we will stay there.”