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Widnes Vikings captain Kevin Brown signs new contract

Credit: PA Images

Widnes captain Kevin Brown has signed a new contract that will keep him with the Vikings until the end of 2018.

The 30-year-old stand-off, who made his Super League debut for Wigan in 2003, joined Widnes from Huddersfield on a four-year deal ahead of the 2013 season.

Brown, who has rediscovered the form that earned him three England caps in 2010, paid tribute to Widnes coach Denis Betts after signing his two-year contract extension.

He said:

It's an incredible feeling to have signed a new deal. I am really excited about having the chance to be part of something that's been building ever since I joined the club in 2013."

"I'm playing with some of the best mates that I've ever had in rugby and I couldn't be enjoying my rugby any more than I am at the moment."

"I cannot thank Denis enough for the way he has helped me. I think he has developed into one of the best British coaches in the game."

– Kevin Brown, Widnes Vikings captain

Brown took over the captaincy at the start of the season following the retirement of Jon Clarke and took his try tally to 13 in 11 matches with a hat-trick in the 38-16 win over Salford last Saturday.

His coach Denis Betts admitted he was delighted to be keeping hold of his captain:

Re-signing Kevin is a massive coup for the club. It's an amazing thing to have a player of his quality, who is spoken so highly of in the game, as the captain of this club and the main playmaker."

"He's part of our journey and he can see what we're trying to do and build in the future."

"He's a massive part of our future recruitment policy. Good players will always want to come and play with good players so it helps the group having Kevin as a figurehead of the team."

– Denis Betts, Widnes Coach

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Widnes player Alex Gerrard gets three year contract

Widnes Vikings' Alex Gerrard is tackled by Wakefield Wildcats' Kyle Amor (left), Danny Kirmond and Paul Aiton (right) Credit: PA

Widnes have given prop forward Alex Gerrard a new three-year contract.

Gerrard, 22, has been with the Vikings since the age of 16 and progressed through their youth system to establish himself in Super League.

Widnes coach Denis Betts said:

Alex has developed into one of the top young Super League props in the competition.

He's a prop who regularly is in the top five of every piece of data analysis that's measured.

We believe Alex has the potential to go really far in the game and we are pleased to have secured his services for at least another three years.

– Widnes coach Denis Betts

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

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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