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Widnes release pictures to try to find fans who 'shamed' club

Fans invade pitch
Pitch invasion after Widnes were defeated by Castleford Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Widnes Vikings have released photos on their website of individuals they claim "have shamed their club". It comes after a pitch invasion after their challenge cup semi final loss to Castleford on Sunday. The club wants help from the public to identify anyone involved. See the full list of pictures here.

Fans to 'name and shame'
Fans to 'name and shame' Credit: Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings release images of individuals as investigation into Challenge Cup disturbance continues

Widnes Vikings has published CCTV images of individuals alleged to have been involved in a disturbances after their challenge cup semi final defeat by Castleford.

The club has described the incident, last Sunday, as "shameful"

The images of the individuals have been published on the club's website, www.widnesvikings.co.uk

“I felt it was prudent to give our valued stakeholders an update to where we are with the investigation into the disgraceful scenes perpetrated by a minority of people who attached themselves to our club on that day.

“We are working closely with RFL who are in turn liaising with police and the crowd safety team at Leigh Sports Village who were there on the day of the event.

“In the first instance we have gathered intelligence to identify the individuals who entered the field of play.

"As I stated earlier in the week the response from our true supporters has been overwhelming and we have been inundated with hundreds of emails all providing invaluable information for the investigation team.

– James Rule, CEO Widnes Vikings

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Widnes describe scenes after their defeat to Castleford as 'sickening and shameful'

Mark Hull and Gareth Cooper both captured video of the fans behaviour on the pitch. The club want people to come forward with the names of those involved - tellus@widnesvikings.co.uk

"It’s evident from the overnight response that our genuine supporters are as disappointed and frustrated by the scenes as everybody is within the Club.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response and the information we have received will be invaluable in conducting a thorough investigation.

“I wish to thank the supporters for supplying this information and would encourage anybody with any details to continue to supply that to the Club which will then be submitted and utilised within the investigation process.

“Together we can begin to take the first steps of rebuilding our reputation.”

– James Rule, CEO Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings: 'Pitch invasion sickening and shameful'

After all the hard work that's gone into this season, both on and off the field by various stakeholders of the Club, it's sickening to see such shameful scenes perpetrated by a minority of 'supporters'.

We will now work closely with RFL and police and carry out a full investigation into this afternoon's events. If any supporter is able to provide information and names that will assist our investigation then please send that in confidence to tellus@widnesvikings.co.uk.

It's imperative that we all work together to try and salvage what is left if our reputation. The Club's recruitment drive for next season has been put on hold until such time that we can establish the full cost to the Club for today's actions.

We will work fully with the RFL and the BBC to identify each and every individual that brought shame to the good name of our Club at full-time.

– James Rule, Vikings CEO

Widnes Vikings skipper Jon Clarke announces retirement

Hanging his boots up - Jon Clarke Credit: PA Pictures

Widnes captain Jon Clarke is to bring his 18-year playing career to a close at the end of the season, the former Great Britain hooker has announced.

The 35-year-old is one of the game's longest-serving players, having begun his career with his home-town club Wigan in 1997, but has decided to hang up his boots in October.

"I've decided this is going to be my last season," Clarke said.

"I've been thinking about it for a little while now and, having made the decision, I thought it was the right time to get it out there so that I can concentrate on rugby between now and the end of the season.

'Time to get out' - Jon Clarke Credit: PA Pictures

"I feel like the time is right, with the little injuries here and there and the psychological impact that that has. The way the body feels after playing, you are constantly trying to recover, it all just tells you the time is right to pack it in at the end of the year."

Clarke, who also played for London Broncos and Warrington, with whom he lifted the Challenge Cup in 2009 and 2010, still has unfinished business after helping the Vikings make their best-ever start to a Super League campaign and the last-eight of the Challenge Cup.

He will miss Thursday's Cup quarter-final against Keighley with the calf injury that forced him to sit out his club's last two league games but is hoping to return a week later and would love to bow out with another major trophy.

Widnes have already recruited a replacement in Hull hooker or half-back Aaron Heremaia, while coach Denis Betts has other options for the hooking role in Lloyd White and Grant Gore.

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Prop Ben Kavanagh signs new deal with Widnes Vikings

Signed and sealed - Ben Kavanagh Credit: Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings prop Ben Kavanagh has extended his deal at the Club.

Kavanagh, aged 26, has been with the Vikings since the start of the Steve O’Connor’s administration and has developed under Head Coach Denis Betts into one of the best young front rowers in Super League.

The Halifax-born prop initially joined the Vikings in 2008 on loan from Wigan Warriors but now, with 148 appearances under his belt, he says he is ready to make the next push in his career on the back of a hugely successful Rugby League World Cup 2013 with Scotland.

Kavanagh said: “I’m really enjoying my Rugby League at Widnes and I’m excited about the future and what we could achieve here.

“I’m over the moon to sign. It’s good that it’s now out of the way as I can concentrate on my Rugby League. I’m happy with my form at the moment but there’s much more to come from me and I’m keen to show the supporters what I can do.

“Widnes is a really big Club and you can see the great strides we’ve made since coming into Super League and what’s happening now.''

“We want to be up there and all the boys are working hard to get us to the top.”

Denis Betts, Vikings Head Coach, said: “Ben’s been in our thoughts throughout the process of signing and retaining players. He’s a player who has established himself in the Scotland squad and he had a great World Cup but also there’s still a lot of potential in him.

“He’s a big man who has lots of ability and skill and we need to keep extracting that out of Ben and that’s only going to benefit him and make the team better.

Vikings cook up funds for community

Players prepared meals to raise funds Credit: ITV

Widnes Vikings fans have been able to see their favourite stars in a different light.

Players have been cooking up a storm at a restaurant in the town.

It is all part of a fund raising campaign for the club's community programme.

Players prepared meals to raise funds Credit: ITV

Widnes ban two fans for life after 'crowd disturbance'

Widnes have issued life-time bans to two fans as a result of a crowd disturbance during the Vikings' recent 72-10 defeat at Hull.

Ian Hansen and Liam Riccio will be prevented from attending all Widnes games at The Select Security Stadium.

"After a thorough investigation involving dialogue with Halton Borough Council, officials at the KC Stadium and the police, we have actioned these banning orders.

"As I have repeated on numerous occasions in recent weeks, the vast majority of our fans are a credit to the club and support us passionately both home and away.

"However, a small minority have brought the club into disrepute. We will not stand by and let this minority damage the good name and reputation of the Widnes Vikings."

Rule said his club are continuing their investigations into the recent crowd trouble in the derby against Warrington at the Halliwell Stadium a week ago.

"I can confirm that, based on the information we have received, further banning orders will be issued in due course," he added.

"Together, we will stamp out this minority and protect the reputation of our club."

– Vikings chief executive James Rule
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