Widnes Vikings have signed former St Helens, Wakefield and Bradford prop Anthony Walker on a two-year deal.
The 30-year-old, who is part of the Wales squad for the World Cup, was announced at the Vikings’ DCBL Stadium ahead of going in to camp with the national team.
Having started his career at St Helens, Walker joined Wakefield in 2014 but had numerous loan spells in the Championship throughout his time with the two Super League clubs.
Before the last World Cup in 2017, he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain condition which forced him out of the game for four years.
After radiotherapy and being given the all clear, it was Widnes coach John Kear who gave him the opportunity to play again when he signed for Bradford Bulls in 2021.
After two seasons with the Bulls, Walker will join the Vikings ahead of the 2023 season and the no-nonsense prop is excited by the new Challenge.
Speaking to the official Widnes website, Walker said: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good club to come to, it’s moving in the right direction. It’s got good aspirations and some of the signings already announced have been exciting.
“I like carrying the ball. I like running as hard as I can at a team that’s trying to defend me. I like trying to get an offload away.
“John’s the kind of guy if he says run through a brick wall, you run through a brick wall. And players want to play for coaches like that. When I had my four years out, John kept in touch. When the opportunity to play under John again it was a no brainer.
“With what we’ve signed and what’s already here, we want to pushing towards the top, winning your home games and getting to the play-offs. It’d be nice to have a dig at the 1895 Cup as well.
“The fans are massive. Widnes have a strong fanbase. I’ve played here for Bradford, Saints and Wakefield and the fans have always been loud and on away days as well. There’s probably not a better stadium in the league, the facilities are fantastic and the pitch is fast. People say in my position that you don’t like a fast pitch but I prefer a faster pitch than a mud bath!”