BBC's Zoe Ball, former England footballer Gary Lineker and a host of personalities from across the rugby league world have backed fundraising efforts to help save Widnes Vikings.

Even former Viking and current Wigan Warriors packman Willie Isa dropped in to lend his support.

The campaign gained incredible momentum, with more than £21,000 donated to the crowd-funding campaign and 375 individuals signing up to join the independent supporters association VIQI in less than 24 hours.

Zoe Ball‏, who dropped in at the club last summer during her gruelling Sport Relief cycling challenge, retweeted the Widnes Vikings appeal and added: "Love these guys. @widnesrl were a huge support on my sport relief challenge, they came & cycled with me & gave me much needed courage. I was blown away by how much the team do for their local community. Do have a read & RT lovely people. Let’s help them continue being awesome."

Widnes born St Helens England international Mark Percival has not forgotten his roots either.

He tweeted: "@widnesrl is where it all started for me and it is hard to watch my hometown club face financial difficulty. The rugby league community need to pull together! So please help support @widnesrl and sign up to any donations are appreciated!"

Current players joined in rallying the troops.

Krisnan Inu tweeted: "If you’re reading this, then I’m personally ask you for help. Sign up, and donate whatever you can. Anything is something and it’s for a huge cause. Thanks for all this who’ve donated so far and all the support from all around. #VTID #upthevikings "

Hep Cahill‏ added: "Please help our great club. To all that have it means the world to the town and all involved with the club thank you."

And Danny Craven‏ tweeted: "Officially becoming a part of the Widnes Vikings family 9 years ago. Both of my kids have been born supporting @WidnesRL and the club has become a massive part of my life and my families! Your support can help us rise again."

VIQI, an independent fundraising organisation that has supported Widnes Vikings for almost 20 years has stepped forward to help coordinate fundraising efforts to save the club. Supporters can donate and sign up to become members of the association at

As an independent organisation with its own bank account, all money donated is securely ringfenced by VIQI and will not be put at risk by the club’s current administration challenges. Money donated will be used to help take the club out of administration, if possible, or to support the continuation of professional rugby league in our town.

Phil Finney, Performance Director at Widnes Vikings, says, “We have been overwhelmed by the response from supporters and rugby league fans around the world, who have donated and signed up to become VIQI members.

"Behind the scenes, staff, volunteers and players have been working tirelessly to help save the club.

"We’re not giving up and thank everyone who is showing their support.”

Jason Shaw, Founder of VIQI, says: “At this time of financial uncertainty for the club, we would like to step forward to help lead and protect the fundraising efforts to save Widnes Vikings. Whilst all of us are hurting by the current crisis, the only thing that matters now is action.

"A united effort from our supporters and backers of the club can help save our historic team.

"We encourage supporters and members of the rugby league community to donate to the crowd funder as generously as possible.

"We also hope that our supporters will sign up to become VIQI members to demonstrate to potential investors that the club has the support of its community and ongoing revenue.

"Securing a thousand or more members by Wednesday 27 February at £15 a month is essential in demonstrating the local passion for the club and its sustainability. "Supporters are encouraged to share the website as far and wide as possible."