Widnes Vikings have confirmed confirm that Chris Dean will retire from rugby league at the end of the current season.
The 31-year-old has crossed 38 times in 178 games for the Vikings during his three spells at the club, joining on a permanent deal in 2012.
The second-rower has been an integral part of Keiron Purtill’s setup in 2019, scoring five times in 24 appearances.
His career started in the academy ranks at St Helens, where he made his Super League debut, before spending a season with Wakefield Trinity and eventually moving to the Vikings.
On the news, Dean said: “At the end of the current season, I have decided to retire from playing rugby league, this was a decision I haven’t taken lightly.
“It is the right time in my life to explore other options away from playing, options I think are the best options for my family and myself.
“I would firstly like to thank St Helens for giving me the opportunity to play professionally and achieve my goals of playing in Super League. I’d like to also thank Wakefield for allowing me to progress as a first team player, both are fantastic clubs that I am grateful for everything they did for me.
“I would now like to thank Widnes Vikings for allowing me the privilege of playing for such a great, historic club. Not a game went by that I took for granted pulling on the black and white shirt, and I’ve realised how lucky I have been over the past eight years to represent you.”
Widnes Chief Executive Phil Finney added: “Chris has been an instrumental figure in helping Kieron and the first team squad get through a remarkably difficult period for the club.
“His maturity, experience, and character came to the fore and has been really helpful in the progression of the young players within the first team.
“Chris has put his hand up to play in games this year, when other players would not have been able to due to injury, which is testament to him as a person and as a rugby league player.
“Chris has been a fantastic player and servant to Widnes Vikings over the previous eight years, and on behalf of everyone at the club, we wish him and his young family all the best for the future.”