FORMER Widnes forward Stephen Holgate has died at the age of 49, his first club Workington have announced.

Holgate began his career with Workington in 1994 and was in the Wigan team that beat Leeds in the inaugural Super League Grand Final in 1998.

He made one appearance for England in 1995 and also played for Hull, Halifax and helped Widnes win the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final in 2001 to gain promotion.

In a tweet, Workington said: "It's with great sadness that we learn of the passing of ex-player Stephen Holgate.

"An extraordinarily talented player who we are privileged to say graced Derwent Park. Rest in Peace marra."