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CHRIS MCLEAN - VIQI IT/Digital online

I’m the only one in the VIQI team not to be born or living in Widnes. However, a member of VIQI for more years than I can remember. Born in South Africa with a Widnesian father who happened to be working close to Johannesburg for a few years during the time I was born.

We have a large extended family and have one rule. It doesn’t matter which football team you support but there can only be one Rugby League team supported by any family member. I honestly believe anyone supporting another RL team would be disowned for bringing shame on the family! Another big family connection is the late great second row Alan Dearden being my Dad’s cousin. So I remember as a young child seeing various team mates at his house. Experiencing first-hand how friendly they were and the mutal respect for each other

My initial career started in Electrical Engineering but very quickly moved into IT where I’ve been very fortunate to work for some amazing companies, working in the some of the best places in the world some in executive leadership roles. Covering multiple disciplines Technical, Product Management, Sales and Marketing

I’ve founded a couple of companies. One of which I’m still a Director for which has supported Widnes Vikings in a number of ways such as player sponsorship for Jordan Johnstone 2018 season. I also work for private equity IT start-ups to help accelerate their goals, execution and exit plan. I’ll be responsible for VIQI’s IT and digital assets such as website, PayPal, etc ensuring that members data complies with GDPR together with the VIQI team. Whilst also supporting whenever and wherever I can to drive the VIQI membership and constitution

My most memorable moment (I have many!) has to be as a young child travelling to Wembley on one of the many coaches in 1984 to see Widnes v Wigan in the Challenge Cup Final in front of 80,000+ people. Early morning Widnes was a ghost town except for the queues at the coaches. I’d stayed up late the night before finishing my mock Challenge Cup all wrapped in tin foil to display to the Wigan supporters from my window seat. The stress pre game praying for the win so that my cup wouldn’t be wasted on the journey home and then surprise at the amount of rude gesturing back from the ‘pies’ on the way back towards my winning cup – afterall I was only a child!

Admittedly being a Widnes supporter has its challenges. Major highs and terrible lows and hope many of you agree that a true fan supports their team no matter what. Win or Lose. VIQI is a leading example of positive fan support. I’m personally honoured to represent fans like myself as a small part of a very talented VIQI team