HEP Cahill announced that he will be leaving England when his Widnes Vikings contract ends in November.

Cahill has put down real roots in the town in eight years, playing 168 times for the Vikings and scoring 10 tries since joining in 2012.

Popular in the town and with supporters, Cahill explained how he has agonised about making this decision.

Announcing his decision on social media, Cahill said: “I am sad to announce that my time in England is coming to an end.

“This was a very hard decision to make and one I did not take lightly as Widnes has become our home and we have made friends for life during our time here.

“To the fans I would like to thank every single one of you that has supported me over the past eight years ­— you are the best fans in the world.

“We have loved the Vikings like our family and am sorry to be leaving the town which we call home.”

Cahill became the first captain of the club to lead Widnes out at Wembley in 26 years in the 1895 Cup Final against Sheffield Eagles in August.

The announcement has not come out as the club would have intended and they have spelled out the difficulties they have been under due to the cuts in their available budget.

A Vikings statement read: “Hep made the club aware of an offer from another club which they were unable to compete with, and he was advised to take the deal as the club felt that it was in his best interests.

“The club’s job is to build a competitive squad within the salary cap stipulated by the RFL, and this wouldn’t have been possible if that deal was matched by the Vikings.

“Given the years of exemplary service that Hep has given the club, and knowing the affinity he has with the town and its people, this has been a difficult process.

“However, with the transition to part-time and the circumstances the club have been through in recent times, player departures were inevitable.

“Vikings would like to wish Hep and his family all the best in their future endeavours, and thank him for all of his efforts during his time with the club.”