Leigh Centurions can confirm that terms have been agreed with Huddersfield Giants for the permanent transfer of Ryan Brierley.
Brierley, 24, came up through the ranks of Westhoughton Lions and joined Leigh Centurions in 2012 from Castleford Tigers.
He achieved a new Club record by becoming the first player to be top try-scorer in four successive seasons and his tally of 43 in the 2014 season was the third highest in Club history.
Brierley’s two tries against Bradford Bulls at Odsal recently, in what proved to be his final game for the Club took his total to 133 tries in 125 games. He also kicked 42 goals, including four drop-goals, for a total of 612 points.
Brierley is the fifth highest try-scorer in Club history, behind Mick Martyn (189 tries), John Woods (152), Bill Kindon (149) and Des Drummond (141) and was Young Player of the Year in the Kingstone Press Championship in both 2013 and 2014.
Brierley had also been a valued ambassador for Leigh Community Trust and developed his own school’s programme, Brierley’s Buddies, which was well received within the local schools and won funding from the Ben Cohen Foundation.
Leigh Centurions Owner Derek Beaumont said: ” I would rather remember Ryan for his contribution on the field which cannot be questioned and stands for itself. I shared some great times with him and will perhaps remember him jumping on me after the Challenge Cup victory over Salford the most.
“He has been an outstanding ambassador in the community over the years. He was always happy to go above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of those in the community and he should be remembered and commended for that.
“There has always been a lot of media attention around Ryan and over a number of years I worked closely with him to protect him from that. I was disappointed with his article in the magazine particularly referring to me as ‘the owner’. I understand his relationship with Paul (Rowley) and him wanting to support him but I felt I deserved better than that.
“However, I am bigger than that and I wish Ryan well at Huddersfield and genuinely hope he makes a fist of Super League. There is a lot expected of him and although it will be very difficult for him I hope he proves a success and develops into a top Super League player. It is always helpful when circumstances can have an outcome that is positive for both parties and I believe that to be the case here.
“I would like to thank Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis for his honest and professional approach to this along with his patience to see the transfer through.”
Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes said: ” I remember the day that Ryan walked through the door for the first time.
“Since then all the staff have contributed a lot of time and effort into making him the player he is today. They have all played a massive part in his development.
“Ryan has undoubted ability and is now at a club where he has the opportunity to play Super League. I genuinely hope that everything works out for him and I’ll be keeping an eye on his performances, having spent a lot of time on his progression.
“I appreciate his efforts during his time at the Club for me as assistant and then head coach and likewise I’d hope Ryan in return will be grateful for what Leigh Centurions have done for him.
“I sincerely hope he advances himself at the highest level of the club game, Super League.”