WIDNES Vikings have paid tribute to a lifelong fan who died last Thursday before the Vikings’ first Utility Super League game with Salford Red Devils.

Francis Shaw collapsed at the Select Stadium.

Vikings chief executive and director James Rule said: “Everyone at Widnes Vikings was devastated to hear the news of Francis’ passing during our Academy fixture against Salford Red Devils.

“Francis was a lifelong supporter of the club who had followed us through good times and bad. On behalf of the directors, staff, players, coaches and supporters of Widnes Vikings, we would like to pay our sincere condolences to her son David and the rest of her family.”

Francis’ son, David, paid tribute to the staff who came to the aid of his mum last Thursday evening.

Mr Shaw said: “My mum was a lifelong fan. She passed away watching the team she loved in the place she loved. She had been a season ticket holder since 1987 and always referred to ‘her seat’ that she had had since the stand was built.

“I’m grateful to all staff on both benches at the game, Widnes and Salford, as well as Stadium staff that came to my mum’s aid.”