Written by Callum Walker
Matt Cook’s move to Cheshire-based club Widnes has been confirmed, leaving one side of the Pennines very happy with their business and the other side ruing the loss of a great club man.
Though heading into the twilight of his career and despite suffering from a number of bad injuries in recent years, 33-year-old Cook has still been one of Castleford’s better forwards in recent seasons.
Since his arrival at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle six years ago, the Warrington-born forward has established himself as a firm fans’ favourite with a no-nonsense running style and hard-hitting defence.
Cook made over 150 appearances for Bradford, Castleford (on-loan), Hull KR and London before a move to West Yorkshire in 2015 allowed the forward to settle into a high-flying team that was more than thriving under Daryl Powell.
110 Castleford performances later and the forward is now going to depart at the end of the 2020 campaign, and, he can leave with his head held very high.
🏁 Welcome to Widnes Vikings, @Matthewcook1986!
We are delighted to confirm that Matt will join the club from Castleford Tigers for the 2021 season!
— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) August 5, 2020
The twice-capped England international will help Widnes greatly in their attempts to get back to Super League following their minus 12 deduction in 2019. That deduction ended any hopes of a top five finish, but the Vikings did manage to win 14 games which would have seen them end the season in eighth had they not gone into administration.
For Widnes fans, you can expect someone that never shirks his duty and that will bring a lot to the club, both on and off the field. A perfect role model for the youngsters around, Cook will certainly help you in your drive for the top flight.
For Castleford, it’s another major loss with the likes of Mike McMeeken and Junior Moors rumoured to be on the way out too. It will be interesting to see how Powell reacts and who he brings in to replace such formidable forwards.