Kevin Sinfield: a sportsman you can't ignore
Known as 'Sir Kev' to the rugby league community, Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Kevin Sinfield MBE has annouced his retirement from all forms of the sport at the end of the season. He's now looking for a 'proper job'. For any prospective employers out there, here are five reasons why you can't ignore his CV.
1. He's signed for Men United
Back in July 2014, we first met the former Leeds Rhinos captain at his local barbers in Oldham together with fellow rugby league player Mark Flanagan and former England and Manchester United footballer Paul Scholes. They got a "short, back and Scholes" when they joined Men United.
2. He wears the badge to raise awareness of a disease affecting 1 in 8 men
In the build up to the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards (in which Kevin finished second to Andy Murray) we spoke to the former Leeds Rhinos great about his support for the cause:
"From the outset you realise how important it is for awareness. It’s a great thing to be involved in. I’m very, very proud that I’m an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK. It’s all about raising awareness and trying to make small differences to people’s lives. Hopefully by saving some as well. It’s a very important charity and long may it keep doing the great work it does.
"I'll gladly wear the badge on Sunday. It will be a tailor-made suit and I’ll gladly put one on. I’ll definitely wear it."
Kevin was joined at the awards in Belfast by the rest of the treble-winning Leeds Rhinos team who all wore our badge with pride.
3. He's backed by the pundits: Mark Lawrenson holds "Sir Kev" in the highest regard
Well versed in football punditry, the former Liverpool defender turns his attention to rugby league and the players who are more than tough.
4. He's putting rugby league (and men's health) on the map
"There’s never been a rugby league player nominated for [BBC Sports Personality of the Year] before, so to be the first is really nice and really humbling," says the 34-year-old Kevin, who now plays for Yorkshire Carnegie in rugby union, making the switch in rugby codes in November 2015. "It's really nice to be representing the Rhinos given what we’ve done in 2015 - the treble. And it's great to represent rugby league - it's been a long time since we’ve had this type of recognition for our sport. It's great that we get some time in the spotlight."
In 2015, Kevin captained the Leeds Rhinos to an historic treble, winning the Super League Grand Final, League Leader's Shield and Challenge Cup.
"The rugby league community has always rallied round its own and it's very humbling the support I’ve had and the amount of people who've stopped me in the street," he says. "I'm really proud to be representing rugby league. The sport has given me everything in my life and now I’m really looking forward to the evening."
5. He's a sporting legend
Last by no means least, here are his considerable sporting achievements:
- Made his debut for Leeds Rhinos at 16, then was captain from 22 until his retirement from the sport in 2015 at the age of 34.
- Won three Super Leagues, three League Leader's Shields, and two Challenge Cups, finishing with the treble at Old Trafford in 2015 - the first time Leeds Rhinos had achieved this feat.
- Won the Golden Boot in 2012 and scored over 4,000 points in an 18-year career, finishing as the highest points scorer in Rhinos and Super League history and the third highest point scorer in the history of rugby league.
- Receives Order of the Empire (MBE) in 2014.
- Leaves Leeds Rhinos to join rugby union team Yorkshire Carnegie in November 2015.
In short, "Sir Kev" is a great champion: humble, tenacious, strong, resilient with a never-say-die attitude. Why wouldn't you want to employ him?