A LEIGH teenager who was hit by a car which left her unable to walk properly for 12 months is getting ready for the new rugby season after an award-winning debut year.

Anna Croft was waiting for a bus with her friends in April 2014 at the age of 13 when a taxi mounted the pavement and ran over her foot leaving her in hospital for five days in which time she had reconstructive surgery.

Unable to walk and getting frustrated with her condition, her mum, Angela Rigby- a "diehard" Leigh Centurions fan- invited her to go to watch her first ever rugby league game.

From this moment, she became hooked with the sport.

English and music college student Anna, now 16, who plays as a winger, said: "After the accident, I was feeling quite low because I was not able to get around.

"I was in a wheelchair for a few months and then on crutches so it affected me for around a year.

"When my mum took me to my first game I loved it and have had a season ticket for a couple of years now.

"I had never been that interested in doing sports at school before but after watching rugby league it made me want to start playing."

Former Lowton High School Anna started training with Leigh Miners Ladies ARLFC last January and won the Young Player of the Season in her breakthrough campaign.

Anna recommends girls and women of all ages to follow in her footsteps.

She added: "Playing rugby has completely made my life feel better especially after my accident.

"When I first went training, I realised the team had a great group of people and really made me feel welcome- they were so supportive and took me in as a friend straight away.

"The award I won was the first sporting honour I have ever won in my life too- it was overwhelming for me.

"I would love to carry on playing and improve to see how far I can go in the game.

"It would be a dream to play for England one day which is what Rachel Thompson- who used to play for our team and signed for Wigan Warriors last year- done last year."

Leigh Miners Ladies are looking for players over the age of 16 to train with them ahead of the new season which is expected to kick off in April.

They train at St Marys Catholic High School on Manchester Road in Astley from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursdays.