Houston To Retire At End Of Season

Houston To Retire At End Of Season widnesvikings.co.uk
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17th May 2018

Widnes Vikings Co-Captain, Chris Houston, has announced that he will be hanging his boots up at the end of this season. The forward spoke exclusively to the Vikings Media Team to share his pride in leading Widnes Vikings, his aim to finish his career on a high, and his ambitions for the future.

Chris you’ve announced today that you plan to retire at the end of this season. What has led to that decision?

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Widnes, but I think it’s the right time for me to plan for the next stage of my life. I’ve got another baby coming along in two months’ time, so it’s the right time for me to consider my next chapter. 

The big thing for me now is to focus on getting back onto the field. I’m not too far off being back to full fitness, and my main priority is playing well for the team and enjoying my remaining games.”

You’ve still got plenty of fixtures left to play this season, so you won’t want to look back too much, but how proud do you feel about your time here? You were the Players Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year last year, and you have earned everyone’s respect for what you’ve brought to our club.

“I’ll definitely look back proudly at my time at Widnes Vikings, it’s a club that has meant a lot to me. I’ve enjoyed living in the town that I play for, and meeting people in the community, supporters and especially ex-players, who have also played here.

It hurts me that I’ve not been able to give the town and team more success, but that’s the nature of footy sometimes. That disappoints me a lot, especially being Co-Captain – it’s something I take personally. I want my remaining games to be positive ones that I’ll be able to look back fondly on.”

You have embraced living in this town and know what the club means to people. You must feel proud to have been part of a club with our heritage and a line of great captains?

“Of course, it’s been great to play for team with the history that Widnes has. I just hope that people can give the club their support at this stage in its history. We as club need the full support of this town, our fans and our sponsors so we can push on and fulfil the potential that we have now.

It’s great that Widnes had such a successful period in the 1970’s and 80’s, but it’s a time when we need people to support the boys that are out there playing now. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we can bring more of that success back here.”

Do you think this is a club in transition, whilst our young boys grow in experience and break through?

“I’d agree with that. There’s some exciting talent coming through, I’ve spoken about that plenty of times. The young guys coming through the system have a lot of potential.

You need quality senior players alongside them, playing every game, to help these kids develop and to have a chance in the competition. Obviously, we haven’t had that luxury in the past two years, with all the injuries. Hopefully we can turn a corner on that and move on to a more positive period.”

Is the aim for you now to have a positive end to your career?

“For sure. I’ve wanted to announce this decision, so I can just concentrate on playing and enjoying my remaining games.  I just want to get out there now and play the game for what it is, to support the team and to go out on a high.”

You’ve had the chance to play for top clubs, to travel the world, and to play with and against some top players. Are you proud of what you’ve accomplished in Rugby League?

“Rugby League has given me my livelihood for 15 years, since I left school. I started playing footy at 10 years old first because it was fun, and because my mates played, and I couldn’t have imagined what it would lead to. I’ve had the chance to do so many special things because of Rugby League, and I’ll be forever grateful to the game.

There’ll be a time, down the track, when I might get back involved in the game. Right now though, I’m looking to finish the year well and then take some time away from the game, to do something different.”

It’s always exciting when you start a new chapter in your life, whether that’s starting a new career or returning home. What does the future have in store for you?

“I’ve been working hard away from the field, planning for my life after Rugby League. I’ve got a programme that I’ve developed that looks at children’s mental health and wellbeing, that I’d like to roll out through local schools, and I’ve been working hard at that. I’ve got a new baby on the way, and that is naturally very exciting for me and the family.

There’s lots of new experiences coming up, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.” 

Houston To Retire At End Of Season widnesvikings.co.uk