When it came to local loyalties, there was never any doubt where Tommy's lay.
It was a humbling moment. Talk about me needing to get some time in!
But he didn't stop at the ground; he then went on to build the team.
Arguably the single most important thing Tommy did to put Leigh on the map came in the late 1960s.
With Leigh second bottom, he went over to a golf club in St Helen's and talked a certain 27 year-old Saint into becoming Leigh's coach.
He succeeded - and I don't think Leigh has ever quite recovered!
We went on a journey that took us to Wembley and our moment of national glory.
Adopting the legendary Alex Murphy as a Leyther stands as one of - if not the - most inspired signing in the history of Rugby League.
Tommy achieved great things. Not for himself. But for Leigh.
A great man but, just like this town, no airs and graces, always on a level with people.
He was Leigh personified.
The army took Tommy away for a while. He achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant, a good wage of £20 per week and was playing Rugby Union - or the Game of the Establishment, as he called it.
But he swapped it all to come back home, earn £4 a week as a gardener, and do what he wanted to do - play Rugby League for Leigh.
And this is what sets Tommy apart.
When I was first elected, I remember getting letters about all kinds of things that people wanted for the town.
But one came more than any other - could I help get an honour for Tommy Sale?
Yet the letters just kept on coming, year after year.
You knew what was right, you never gave up and, thanks to you, the day finally came when Tommy got what was rightfully his.
I gave him a tour of the corridors of power and, as I steered him around, he kept whispering to me: "Andy - all this fuss for me. Can you imagine that?"
Someone who never wavered from his mother's advice: "in life, you must learn two things; to give a little and take a little; but give more than you take."
Leigh values through and through. Tommy embodied them. It's why he was the best of us, the best of Leigh.
It was the manner in which he accepted his MBE that speaks volumes about him.
I repeat Tommy's words today at the request of his family because they tell you more than I ever could about the man, his values, his outlook on life.
You can almost hear him saying them now, so typical they are of him.
Tommy loved Leigh. But Leigh loved him too.
Goodnight and God bless Tommy.
Forever the greatest Leyther of them all.