Widnes have confirmed that Kevin Brown has signed a two-year contract extension and will remain at the club until the end of the 2018 season.
The 30-year-old is delighted to be staying put at a club with a coach he respects as much as Denis Betts.
“It’s an incredible feeling to have signed a new deal. I am really excited about having the chance to be part of something that’s been building ever since I joined the club in 2013,” he said.
“When I was given the opportunity to speak with Denis (Betts) and James (Rule) about extending my stay here, I was ecstatic.
“I’m playing with some of the best mates that I’ve ever had in rugby; people who make me laugh every single day, and I couldn’t be enjoying my rugby any more than I am at the moment.
“The last three years have gone so quickly. I guess that’s an indicator of how much I’ve enjoyed my time at the club.
“I cannot thank Denis enough for the way he has helped me. I think he has developed into one of the best British coaches in the game.
“He is one of the best coaches that I’ve ever had. He was one of the main reasons I came to club in the first place and he is a massive reason to stay.”
Brown has been in fine form in 2015, but modestly attributes that to being surrounded by other good players and a great staff.
“It’s great to get the accolades and hear mention of how well I am playing but there are 16 other lads who are helping me on the field each week,” he added.
“I said after the Magic Weekend game against Salford, that the movement the boys put on around me is incredible and that’s the reason why I’m playing so well and scoring as many tries as I am.
“I can’t thank my teammates enough because without them, especially the forwards who lay such a good platform, I wouldn’t be playing half as well as I am now.
“We have got something really special here, and you see that with our ‘One Club’ philosophy.
“We are all a family here, from the players and fans, to the office staff and ball boys; we’re all in it together. I am really proud to be part of this club and so happy to be playing for Widnes Vikings for the next three years.”
Widnes coach Denis Betts also paid tribute to Brown’s professionalism and integrity.
“When you look at Kevin’s age and his contribution to this team and the whole culture of the place, extending Kevin’s deal giving him a three year contract with an extra two years on, it just fits perfectly to what we’re trying to achieve,” said Betts.
“He’s part of our journey and he can see what we’re trying to do and build in the future. He’s a massive part of our future recruitment policy.
“Good players will always want to come and play with good players so it helps the group having Kevin as a figurehead of the team.
“Overall his contribution to this club has been huge. The reason for offering an extended deal is that he’s done everything he said he would do to help this team and this group of players move forward.
“As a coach, all I can ask is that he keeps up his side of the bargain. When we signed him, I told him what we were about and he fully bought into that and wanted to be part of it and then he committed to it fully.
“He has gone above and beyond and hopefully that can continue. Resigning Kevin is a massive coup for the club and it’s an amazing thing to have a player of his quality, who is spoken so highly of in the game, as the captain of this club and the main playmaker.
“His contribution to this team has been huge, but that’s the reason you go and find people like Kev, and you build a team around them.
“It’s not just his ability with the ball either that is impressive, it’s the way he lives his life and how he approaches the games. His attitude is fantastic and it rubs off on everyone else.
“I heard Thierry Henry say once on television that when you play and train with Lionel Messi, you’re not surprised by anything, because that’s what he does every single day.
“When you see how Kev approaches the game and how hard he works, then you see how he performs on the weekend, it comes as no surprise to the players and the coaching staff.”