Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News
Widnes finally get chance to celebrate
AT last. Widnes RUFC finally got the chance last weekend to celebrate their belated ADM Premier League title victory at the club’s presentation day.
Because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the champagne had to be put on ice until the return of better times with the arrival of Freedom Day and an easing of restrictions which had curtailed the campaign and closed the club for many months.
And, the event was worth waiting for, as a packed clubhouse got together to celebrate a second successive league title win – albeit some 16 months late!
Not only were the players and coaches allowed to get their hands on the trophy which was already locked up safely in the trophy cabinet from the previous season, the club also handed out several individual awards to commemorate what had been another outstanding campaign.
In the first team; centre Jamie Patient picked up the Young Player of the Year award, whilst points machine and ADM Premier League Player of the Year, Andy Owens, deservedly collected the Wids POY award. In the second team, Josh Salter also picked up his own award for being their stand out player of the season.
In addition, each member of the first-team squad received a framed memento marking the team’s sensational 44-match unbeaten run from club president Martin Griffiths.
Club captain Kevin Leadbetter also gave an impassioned speech as he reflected on the achievements of the 2019/20 season, whilst confirming that pre-season training was going well and that the passion and desire to achieve even more success was still burning brightly amongst the squad as they looked forward to a return to action in just a few short weeks.
Following the awards ceremony, the players, coaches, members and family and friends were able to relax, enjoy a few drinks and celebrate further as they watched the Lions beat South Africa in a tense first test match on TV.
The usual Sweep was claimed by Matt Blakey, who kindly donated his winnings to the Wooden Spoon Charity – for whom the club are hosting a Q & A fundraising event on August 20 – and Halton Haven. Club president Martin Griffiths took the opportunity to thank the player for his kindness and generosity