Vikings raid Northumberland as Magic excitement hits Cramlington

Widnes players Eamon O’Carroll, Hep Cahill and Danny Tickle did their bit for rugby league in the North East this week, by visiting Northumberland community club Cramlington Rockets.

Local side Newcastle Thunder were also in attendance at Cramlington, helping to boost the profile of the game in a soccer-mad region, and to promote the Magic Weekend.

Cahill was enthused by the response that the Super League stars received from the local players, particularly the youngsters.

“It was great to get back up to Newcastle yesterday. There must have been 200 kids at Cramlington and they were all really excited about Magic Weekend,” he said.

“I think all of the Cramlington Rockets teams were there – from U9s to U16s, and they were all talking no-stop about the Magic Weekend games. You can tell the excitement for this weekend is really building in the North East.

“They were so excited about this weekend and are all looking forward to learning from the Super League teams at St James’ Park.

“But having played a bit with us tonight, they did say that they would support the Vikings so that’s a bonus for us!”

Widnes are set to play in a special shirt for their game agains Salford this weekend, which kicks off proceedings on Saturday.

The shirt replicates the black and white stripes of Newcastle United FC, who, of course, play at St James’ Park.

All profits raised from the shirt are being donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Cramlington Rockets chairman Jeff Ball was delighted by the Vikings stars visiting, and acknowledged that there would probably now be a few more Widnes fans in the North East.

“We have been really impressed with Widnes Vikings’ efforts to promote rugby league in the North East,” he said.
“Last night was amazing, the kids were smiling, even the parents seemed in awe of what was happening. 

“It was an amazing evening. There were over 200 Rockets here and the players made time to speak to everyone, sign autographs and take photos.

“This is the second time we have had Hep Cahill and the Super League trophy in Cramlington this month and we have loved every minute.

“To be able to give our members these kind of experiences at our home ground is beyond our wildest dreams and we are humbled that everyone from Widnes would make the journey up to see us.

“For a lot of our players last night was their first taste of Super League. I am sure we have created some new Widnes Vikings fans!  

“We are now really looking forward to Magic Weekend and especially the Saturday where I expect all our members will only be cheering for one side in particular in the first game.

“There promises to be plenty of Widnes black and white cheering amongst the orange and black of the Rockets!”

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