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Huge Super League star announces shock retirement

Last night Castleford Tigers confirmed the departure of former Warrington Wolves halfback Gareth Widdop by mutual consent.

Widdop had an unusual career by the standards of most British players actually starting out in the NRL.

As a teenager he would be picked up by Melbourne Storm and force his way into a title winning squad where he would also win the World Club Challenge against Leeds Rhinos.

Widdop operated at stand-off and fullback whilst with the Melbourne Storm and began to make his name and feature for England often as a utility.

However, he would suffer a horrific injury when he suffered a dislocated hip.

Shortly after, his Melbourne career concluded with a big move to St George Illawarra Dragons.

You couldn’t describe Widdop as a failure at the Dragons but, despite many excellent starts to seasons, the halfback never delivered the NRL title as many expected him to do so.

At the start of 2019 it was announced that following the arrival of eventual Leeds Rhinos star and Castleford Tigers teammate Blake Austin, that Gareth Widdop would join the Wolves in 2020 in a move that many felt would make the Wolves top dogs.

2o20 was an up and down season for Widdop and the Wolves and despite an excellent run of form in 2021, that season was much the same

The arrival of George Williams shook things up and paved the way for Widdop’s departure after an 11th place finish in 2022.

He would join the Castleford Tigers where the club would struggle culminating in a second consecutive 11th place finish for Widdop.

His exit was confirmed yesterday but Widdop would later confirm that he has now retired from professional rugby league all together.

He made the following statement on Instagram:

“All feels a little surreal writing this however all good things come to an end, after much thought and deliberation my time playing Rugby League Professionally is up!

“From sleeping with my rugby boots on as a little boy in Halifax my parents running me around everywhere so I could chase my dream following through to live the dream in Australia been signed by the Melbourne storm to go on and win a NRL grand final playing alongside some of the greatest players to the play the game no doubt will be future immortals, winning the world club challenge (What a feeling) playing for my country for over 10 years, representing and pulling on that famous Great Britain jersey the tours live on in memory, playing in the NRL Allstars game to picking up a Dally M 5/8 of the year award having immense coaches out there I can honestly say I’ve had the best!

“To the dragons where I was honored to captain the club for a number of years, the place where I will cherish every moment of watching my daughters grow up and cheering me on from the stands and my son running out every week to give me my kicking tee those are the moments |lived for.
Following my dream to play back in my home country with my grandma and grandad close by Warrington and Cas served me well to my 300 games! I’ve met some incredible, inspirational people along the way. The following of each and every club has been nothing but supportive thank you so much for your kindness!

“I am looking forward and hoping to embrace this next chapter…. For now taking some time out and see where this life takes me!”

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