Bridge looks back on career

Bridge looks back on career

19th September 2017

Chris Bridge discussed his career highlights, retirement from the game and future ambitions with guests in the C&C Karalius Suite this weekend. 

The centre, who made over 250 appearances in a distinguished career, played his last game in the sport in the Vikings’ recent 24-8 victory over Leigh Centurions. Speaking in front of a sold-out hospitality suite, Bridge looked back fondly at his time in the game.  

“I can’t speak of the club highly enough,” he said. 

“I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve never regretted coming here. I really enjoyed it when I first came last year with the signings we were making at the time.

“Myself, Setaimata Sa, Corey Thompson, Chris Houston, Charly Runciman had also just signed, and I thought we could do something last year. We started off really well until we got a few injuries.”

Injuries have unfortunately blighted the Vikings progress in the 2017 season. Chris was quick to praise to the Club’s Academy players and the impact of its youth system, in a year where the Vikings’ young talent have made their mark.

“The young lads have really stood up this year,” he said.

“I think that the Academy is the highlight of this Club and we have some good kids coming through.”

Bridge highlighted two players who he believes will have outstanding careers in the game and shared his advice to them.

“Danny Walker has a massive future” he said.

“He’s small, but he’s tough as nails and he’s fearless in whatever he does. The other one who stands out, who hasn’t played for the first team yet, is Keanan Brand. He has something about him that you can’t teach. I’m sure he will play a few games next year and have a big future.”

“My advice to young boys is to carry on enjoying it. Your Academy years are your best ones, before it gets too serious. They are really good years, as you try to break into the first team.”

With numerous Challenge Cup winner’s medals, Grand Final appearances, as well as representative honours at county and international level to show throughout his playing career, Chris has many career highlights. However, he says that one memory stands above all others.

“Playing against Australia for England was special,” he said.

“In my house, there’s only one piece of memorabilia on my walls and it’s from when I swapped shirts with Greg Inglis in that game.”

With his time on the field coming to an end, Bridge said that he is grateful for the opportunities that the sport has given him and knows it is the right time to walk away.

“Rugby has been my life for all of these years, but people say that you know when you’re done, and I know that I am. 

“I’m happy with what I’ve achieved in the game and I’m happy to walk away from it. I think my family are happy for me to walk away now too; they’ve had enough of me struggling down the stairs, so I knew it was time to pack it in and call it a day!”

Chris has decided to forge a career outside of the game, and is excited for it to begin once he recovers from his recent hip surgery.

“As soon as I’m sorted with the injury, I have a job lined up with a concrete company. They offered to train me up as a crane or concrete pump operator.” he said.

“I’ve been doing work there on my days off for the past five months now. I did my theory and a test, and I passed both so I start whenever I’m fit to work. I’m looking forward to it.”

Widnes Vikings would like to thank Chris for his contribution to the Club and wish him all the best for his future.

Bridge looks back on career