TOM Gilmore has turned down a Super League club to sign a new one-year deal with Widnes Vikings.

He says the club 'means a lot' to him and wants to contribute in Vikings' aims to return to Super League at the first attempt following this year's relegation.

The 24-year-old has been with the club since he was 11-years-old, gaining England caps at youth, academy and England Knights levels along the way.

Gilmore said: “Widnes Vikings mean a lot to me, the club always has and it always will, so I’m delighted to sign a new deal.

“I wanted to stay here and give it my best shot to get the club back where it belongs. We need to get this club back to Super League and I’m happy to be a part of trying to achieve that goal.

“It’s crucial that the majority of the young lads have decided to stay and that some of the senior boys have stayed put. We have a really good core group now and I am sure it will get added to along the way with some more quality additions.

“I’m a part of the team that got us relegated so I have to contribute to getting us back up to Super League, and that means I’ll be doing everything within my power to do just that.

“I’m at an age now where I need to be getting 25 games a year under my belt at a minimum, so last season was a bit disappointing for me in that aspect. I just need to ensure I stay in form and I’m not losing my place, because I want to be in the team every week and play a crucial role in our push for promotion.”

Gilmore’s performances from a young age attracted interest from other clubs however he stayed loyal to his home town club, going on to make his Super League debut for the Vikings against London Broncos in 2012.

The halfback has racked up 47 appearances for his hometown club, including 17 last season.

Phil Finney, performance director at Widnes Vikings, said: “Tom has been part of this club since his involvement in the service area as an 11-year-old.

“He is a Widnes lad through and through and has on a number of occasions turned down more lucrative options and remained loyal to his hometown club.

"Tom has once again received the opportunity to remain a Super League player in 2019, but has instead committed to helping us return to the top flight in 2020.

“We believe Tom has the right qualities and attributes to be a very important part of our team. He is tactically very astute and can lead a team around the pitch, and when these strengths are harnessed we will see the best of Tom Gilmore.”