2023 End of Season Presentation Night

Catch up on all the awards and announcements as we brought the curtain down on the 2023 season

Joe Edge, Matty Fozard, Matty Fleming & Olly Davies collect their milestone awards for 50 Vikings appearances (credit: RLPix)

Academy graduate Joe Edge was the big winner at Widnes’ 2023 Season Presentation Night, picking up both the Players’ Player and Coaches’ Player of the Year Awards in an action-packed evening at the DCBL Stadium.

Following a two-course meal in the packed-out Bridge Suite, several players were issued with awards after hitting appearance milestones over the course of the season:

5️⃣0️⃣ Appearances – Joe Edge, Matty Fozard, Matty Fleming, Olly Davies
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ Appearances – Joe Lyons, Sam Wilde
1️⃣5️⃣0️⃣ Appearances – Jack Owens

The individual player awards were next up, with Players’ Player of the Year the first to be announced. Captain Jack Owens presented the award to runaway winner Joe Edge, who has scored seven tries and kicked 21 goals in 28 matches this season.

Double-Edged: Joe Edge shows off his two Player of the Year Awards for 2023 (credit: RLPix)

Edgey was soon called back to the stage as Head Coach Neil Belshaw presented the centre with the Coaches’ Player of the Year Award for 2023. What a season for the Widnes youngster!

The final award of the night was the Fans’ Player of the Year. In association with SleepTight Beds, we’ve been asking YOU to vote for your Man of the Match after each and every game in 2023. Going back through those poll results from February onwards, we totted up the rankings of each survey and awarded points as such.

And boy, was this one a close call. Nudging ahead of his retiring team-mate Shane Grady by just 0.5 points, your fan-voted Player of the Year Award for 2023 went to London-born flyer Kieran Dixon!

Kieran Dixon discusses his Fans’ Player of the Year Award with host Pete Emmett (credit: RLPix)

Player Departures

The club also waved goodbye to several stalwarts heading to pastures new last night, headlined by retiring club stalwart Shane Grady. Bookending a 15-year career with two spells at Widnes, Shane also turned out for London Broncos, Hemel Stags, Dewsbury Rams and Halifax Panthers, making 133 Vikings appearances between 2008-2011 and 2020-23. Good luck in your next chapter, Grado!

First up though was Danny Craven, who after making his professional debut for the club back in 2010, has been an ever-present at the DCBL Stadium. His 188 Vikings appearances have yielded over 250 points, and we wish all the best for a player who’s been with the club through thick and thin!

Shane Grady ends his playing career after 15 years in the Super League & Championship (credit: RLPix)

Adam Lawton is another player heading elsewhere in 2024, after appearing 87 times for the Vikings over two separate spells. The big second-rower began his career at Widnes in 2013, and returned in 2021 for a second spell which has seen him score 29 tries in 71 Championship matches.

Another academy product, prop Owen Farnworth, will also depart the Vikings after this season, having made 81 appearances since his Super League debut back in 2017. All the best Owen!

After spending the last two seasons as Chemics, forwards Olly Davies and Aaron Brown are both heading elsewhere in 2024, making 54 and 35 appearances respectively for the club.

Our departure list is completed by four players heading out the door, with Lewis Hatton, Brad Holroyd, Ryan Millar and Kyle Amor (retired) all set for new adventures next season. Thanks to all of our departees for their service in the black-and-white shirt!

Neil Belshaw reflects on his time in charge of the Vikings in 2023 (credit: RLPix)

That’s a wrap on 2023, but keep your eyes peeled on social media for announcements in the coming days, we’ve got plenty on the horizon to get excited about!