The Leopards have landed!...
The final piece to cement the rebrand of the Leigh Leopards will be unveiled earlier than anticipated, following the fantastic achievement by the club reaching the Betfred Challenge Cup Final in its inaugural season as the Leopards.
Club owner Derek Beaumont explained: “When we were considering the kit design to launch the rebrand and had set our minds on the design, we then couldn’t decide whether to go full colour or black and white and had both designs sampled.
“Whilst we really liked the full colour version, we opted for the blank canvas approach which worked out well for us in the end as it enabled us to bring back some red as we transitioned opinion through the early stages.
“When discussing with Jukesy (Club CEO Neil Jukes) I said: ‘How good would it be to evolve the leopard into life in full colour if we made the play-offs or even the Challenge Cup Final?’ If we did neither we would use it for the last game of the season against Wigan Warriors, to signify the success that the Leopards had come to life as an established Betfred Super League club.
“This meant ordering the shirts well in advance of knowing we would be at Wembley but I was confident we would at the absolute minimum be wearing it against Wigan and largely confident that it would be sooner in the play-offs.
“However, it did leave me being a little conservative with the number of replicas I was prepared to punt on, so hence there only being 1,000. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to turn replicas around in less than three weeks from knowing you’re at Wembley so they will have to be on a first-come-first served-basis. That said, we can order more, based on demand for delivery post Wembley.”
As well as 1,000 replicas of the new playing shirt that the players will play in at the final, there is a large range of various white label merchandise, largely focussing around the “Wemberleigh” tag. The replicas and some of this merchandise will go on sale at 12 noon on Monday with a more official white label range arriving the following week.
Mr Beaumont added: “It’s a brilliant story and gives me a great sense of pride to see the reaction from our town and fans and that of fellow Rugby League fans from other clubs who have been supportive of what we have achieved.
“To see the leopard come alive and into fruition cements what we set out to do. For that reality to come at the realisation of a lifelong dream walking out at Wembley is something I will treasure for the rest of my days and something I am still pinching myself over.
“I am also hoping those that see a jaguar enjoy the moment of seeing their jaguar come to life! Long may the banter continue!”
“It’s great that you can be seen as a fan of our club by donning any kind of leopard print and in any colour, from head bands with ears to a simple wrist band to full blown suits. It really does enable you to show your support subtly, classily, or full-on party mode.”
“It allows us to be fun and that’s what this club is all about and that’s reinforced by Adrian (head coach Adrian Lam) in the way the boys enjoy their training and playing for him.
“It really is true our ‘Leyther Famileigh’ is going to Wemberleigh.”
Replicas are available in junior sizes at £37 and Adult sizes at £47.