LEIGH have re-signed their former hooker Micky Higham from Warrington Wolves.
The transfer fee involved is £50,000 which is a record club fee for the summer era. Former Wigan Warrior Higham is contracted to Leigh Centurions until November 2016 with an option at the club’s discretion for 2017.
Higham, 34, is in contention to make his Centurions second debut in the Kingstone Press Championship Summer Bash game against Featherstone Rovers at Bloomfield Road on Sunday.
Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: “In our continued efforts for success and the ongoing injury worries to Penky it was important that we remained strong in the hooking role and the signing of Micky is another boost for us at this crucial time.
“We are truly blessed already having our vice captain Bob Beswick and our youngster Lewis Foster on board so to add Mickey to this gives me an embarrassment of riches to chose from.
“Micky will provide quality on the field but will also continue to enhance our off-field culture and I welcome Mickey and his family to the club and look forward to him making his second Leigh debut.”
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “I am absolutely delighted to have Micky on board. It is no secret I am fully committed to doing what is necessary to build this club into a competitive Super League club.
“Micky’s performances this year for Warrington have been solid and he has been their starting nine, playing in every game and keeping current Man of Steel Daryl Clark behind him.
“It was no secret Micky wanted to finish his career where it all began at his home town club and now the stage to his fairy tale ending has been set. Having Sean Penkywicz out with a serious injury that gets an operation on Tuesday seriously dented our plans.
“While Bob Beswick has been absolutely outstanding for 80 minutes per game, particularly against Salford and Wakefield it is not only unfair to expect him to continually perform like that but unrealistic when it comes to the middle 8s.”
Beaumont added: “The coaching team all agreed we needed a top quality player right now. Micky in my opinion is still performing as the best nine in Super League and this is a massive coup for us. He is a great player with a proven track record and is yet another player with international experience. He is a very fit individual and a good person that fits within our culture.
“If I would have said last season we could start at the Summer Bash with a front row of Moimoi, Higham and Hock people would have thought I was mad! It is a great time to be a Leigh fan and it is worth noting that it is the fans’ growing support that gives me the confidence to continue to significantly invest in our team, so in many ways this signing is down to them.”
During three seasons at Wigan Higham scored 17 tries in 97 games and for Warrington he has scored 37 tries in 175 games. His overall record at club level reads 113 tries in 430 games.