Jamie Acton has become the first Leigh Centurions player to commit to the club following relegation after signing a new four-year deal.
The popular prop has become a staple of the Centurions side since his move to the club from Workington Town in 2013 and he has wasted no time committing to the club’s vision of returning to Super League.
His retention comes as a timely boost to the club as they plot an instant return to the top-flight in 2019.
Acton was unavailable for the club’s Super 8s campaign after being handed a four-month suspension following an incident in the club’s Super League encounter with Catalans in July.
He was sorely missed throughout, with his strong carries and overall influence leaving a major void in Neil Jukes’ side.
But the Leythers will be able to call upon him next year, much to the delight of owner Derek Beaumont.
“Jamie is a no-nonsense, hardworking, committed player,” he said.
“I have always admired his attitude and commitment on the field and off it. He has come a real long way as a player in how he has developed his skills and controlled his aggression without losing that physical edge.
“Jamie was already contracted next year and I had received lots of enquiries for him from Super League clubs, including those we regard as the best in the game. Despite the fact he, as can others, could walk away after relegation, he has pledged his future to me and this club and that is a massive statement of his belief in me to take this club to where it belongs.
“We have sorely missed Jamie on the field, but his fellow players will agree with me in saying that during his time of suspension his contribution has been fully committed in every aspect.
“I believe that Jamie will play for England during the term of his contract and fulfil his real potential. I am personally pleased that he has pledged his support to myself and the fans of this club, who admire him every time he pulls on a Centurions jersey.”
Acton, who has made 73 appearances in Leigh colours so far, said: “I am delighted to sign this long-term deal with Leigh Centurions. I am really committed to the club and to Derek and so it was a no-brainer for me.
“I will be working extremely hard to fulfil Derek’s faith and trust in me and with the fantastic coaching team and facilities we have at Leigh Centurions there is no better place to be.”