Tommy Martyn’s RL legend uncles dies

Former Great Britain international Mick Martyn
Former Great Britain international Mick Martyn
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Tributes have been paid to former Great Britain international Mick Martyn - and the uncle of Saints legend Tommy - after his death at the age of 81 following a short illness.

The Leigh second-rower turned out 328 times for his home-town side, scoring on a record 189 occasions, and also holds the distinction of scoring in 11 consecutive matches in early 1959.

Tommy Martyn during his Saints days

Tommy Martyn during his Saints days

Part of the Martyn rugby league dynasty in the town, he was the elder brother of the late Tommy Martyn Senior, who died aged 69 last year, and the uncle of Tommy Martyn Junior, both Leigh legends.

Widowed last year, he is survived by his son Stuart and daughter Sue. Club officials say they are “saddened” at news of his death.

In a poll at the former Hilton Park, 20 years after his retirement, fans picked ‘Mighty’ Mick Martyn’s name to adorn the refurbished bar under the supporters club.

Alex Murphy, Leigh Centurions ambassador and a former international team-mate of Mick’s, said: “For most of his club career Leigh weren’t the greatest club side at that time.

“But he stayed loyal to them and played all of his career there. He was part of an Ashes-winning tour and he was very proud of that.

“I rate him up there with the very, very best. I would have him in any of my sides without question. And above all he was a very, very nice guy.”

Derek Beaumont, Leigh Centurions owner, added: “As people we often loosely use the word ‘legend’ but where Mick is concerned and Leigh Centurions it is probably a word that doesn’t even do him justice for his contributions and achievements within it.”

He confirmed the club would seek to pay their respects to Mick at their first home friendly game of the pre-season.

One of seven children born to Tommy and Mary Martyn at the family home in Leigh’s Thomas Street, Mick played his early rugby with Leigh St Joseph’s and also played for Bickershaw Collieries and for the Wigan Road WMC side.

He was in the Open Age League as a loose forward and second-row forward when he was 15. Mick signed for Leigh in November 1952 and, after turning out regularly for the A team, made his debut versus Dewsbury in September 1954.

As part of a stellar career he also scored 23 times during a 1958 tour of Australia, a record which still stands today. His final game for Leigh was in September 1967, while Murphy was player-coach, when he helped his team-mates beat Widnes 15-6.

Away from the game he had his own hairdressers, in Twist Lane, and later ran a grocery in Pennington, as well as holding various posts with the National Coal Board and local parks department.