Widnes Vikings has announced the launch of the all new Vikings FC. Over 200 Vikings FC players in their new kits will appear at the start of today’s Stobart Super League home game against Warrington Wolves.

The club formerly known as Widnes Dragons AFC currently play in the West Cheshire League and after agreeing commercial terms with Halton Council will start playing their first team home games on Saturday afternoons at the Stobart Stadium Halton.

On Saturday 22nd September, Vikings FC face Gateacre FC. Admission for this game costs just £3 with juniors allowed free entry.

For this fixture only, admission is also free to all Viking Stronghold members. Steve O’Connor, Widnes Vikings Executive Chairman said:“It is important for the Vikings to continue to innovate and extend its brand through different sports; Football is an obvious fit and we hope to encourage more clubs and more sports to be part of the Vikings family.

“We believe this initiative will also support the drive towards the improved health and wellbeing of people who live in Halton and that everyone will benefit from more sport being played in Halton. “We have given our brand and will work with Vikings FC who in turn will be able to move up the league and grow for the future.

" There will be lots of synergies through utilising our customer database and facilities.

“Vikings FC members will become members of the wider Viking Stronghold and enjoy the benefits of our membership. National and local businesses have been very supportive of this partnership and I would like to thank Stobart Group, Reel Cinemas, Electrod UK, Poly Blend and Printel for their kind support. “I sincerely hope that Vikings FC will thrive and people will come out and support them.”

Bill Morley, Vikings FC Secretary added: “The benefits of working with the Vikings are enormous. We are also delighted that we can take advantage of the wonderful facilities at the Stobart Stadium and this can only help us to develop our talent and grow our audience, which is invaluable for the club moving forward.

"It is tough leaving behind the ‘Dragons’ name as that has been our identity for the past 10 years, but I’ve no doubt whatsoever that the history will remain with the Vikings FC club and we are pleased that the vision and values of Widnes Vikings closely reflects ours. Together we will be stronger. We’re confident that Vikings FC can grow over this time and develop into a successful side.

“With the current season already underway, we (Vikings FC) began with a fine 3-1 away win and we're hoping to carry this form into our first outing in front of the home crowd at the Stobart Stadium Halton. As a club, we are very much a work in progress but with many Widnes-born players on our books, it will obviously be extra special for them to pull on a Vikings jersey when we do so and this extra energy will obviously transfer itself throughout the team.

"To accompany our partnership with Widnes Vikings, we have recently been awarded FA Charter Community status, which is the highest award a club outside of the Football League can achieve from the National body of our sport. “Everyone involved at Vikings FC is delighted to have received this recognition and we are genuinely excited for the future of the club”

Vikings FC junior teams play on Saturdays and Sundays at Saints Peter & Paul’s Catholic College and its Reserves play at the Pentagon, Hale Bank. If anyone is interested in signing up, please contact Bill Morley, Vikings FC Secretary on 0151 423 2575 or 07921 804689 or email: billmorley@supanet.com